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Four suspects arrested after attempting to sell pangolin for R250k



The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) arrested four suspects on Friday, 22 April, for allegedly attempting to sell a pangolin for a quarter of a million rand.

HAWKS NAB SUSPECTED PANGOLIN TRAFFICKERS

Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said the suspects – aged between 33 and 59 – were pounced on by members of the Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit in Mahikeng, North West.

‘The team operationalised information regarding the suspects who were looking for a buyer for the Pangolin.

“The suspects were arrested at the Crossing Mall in Mahikeng where the Pangolin was found in the suspects’ vehicle,” said Rikhotso.

The pangolin was taken to safety and the vehicle was seized as part of the investigation.

The suspects are expected to appear before the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 25 April on charges of Wildlife Trafficking under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004.

In an unrelated incident, a 42-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Secunda Regional Court on 24 March.

The police caught him in possession of a live pangolin after receiving a tip-off about a suspect that wanted to sell the endangered animal.

As previously reported, all eight pangolin species are protected under international laws. Two species are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated one million pangolins were trafficked over the last decade. This staggering figure may be a conservative estimate considering the recent volume of scale seizures, said WWF



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