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Seven alleged poachers arrested with several wildlife species

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poachers

Tulani Ngwenya

Nelspruit, South Africa – In a significant victory for wildlife conservation, law enforcement authorities apprehended seven alleged poachers during a pre-dawn operation at Mauchsburg plantation in Pilgrimsrest on Monday, December 4, 2023, around 03:00.

The suspects, aged between 17 and 42, were captured in the act of invading the plantation, thanks to the utilisation of advanced technological devices. Swift action by security personnel led to their arrest on the mountainous Mauchsburg plantation, where they had mercilessly slaughtered various wildlife species. A substantial haul, including two hunting rifles, bushknives, a cache of ammunition, and a light delivery vehicle used for transporting the illicit cargo, was seized.

Upon receiving the alert, the Sabie police were dispatched to the scene and subsequently transferred the case to Pilgrimsrest for further investigation. Nature Conservation officials were also called in to assess the total value of the slaughtered wildlife, a figure that will be disclosed once their assessment is complete.

The confiscated items included two licenced hunting rifles, along with nearly 500 live ammunition rounds. Additionally, seven mobile phones, six torches, and bushknives were seized as evidence. Interestingly, the car that was used to move the bodies belonged to one of the detained suspects and was not reported stolen.

Read more on the subject:

Seven men to appear in Mpumalanga court over illegal hunting

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Preliminary investigations indicate that the illicitly obtained wildlife was destined for illegal miners in and around Pilgrimsrest, shedding light on the organised nature of the criminal operation. As the investigation progresses, the suspects are expected to face legal consequences with a court appearance in the near future.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, commended the collaborative efforts of the law enforcement and conservation teams that resulted in the successful operation and arrest of the suspects. The breakthrough underscores our commitment to combating wildlife crime and preserving the region’s biodiversity.

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