Vigilant K-9 members foil poaching attempt

Beaufort-West: The exploitation of our country’s wildlife resources, especially those threatened with extinction, such as rhino’s, remains a concern and major focus area when protecting the global environment. It is therefore essential to avoid the extinction of some species that we remain vigilant in an effort to protect their right to live free in their natural habitats.
Vigilant members attached to the central Karoo K-9 (Beaufort West Dog Unit) were busy conducting routine vehicle checks on the N-1 near Beaufort-West when they spotted a suspicious Toyota Hilux bakkie that was en-route towards the direction of Cape Town. They pulled over the vehicle with one single occupant and ensued with a routine search.
Upon checking the cabin compartment of the vehicle, members found seven 4.58 cartridges of ammunition, usually associated with poaching/hunting which they confiscated. This raised the member’s suspicion even more. They then expanded the search and discovered a rifle that was concealed under the chassis of the vehicle. This rifle was confiscated and will be sent for ballistic tests to determine whether the firearm could have been used in either poaching attempts or the commission of other serious crime.
Further investigation led to the apprehension of three more suspects who was taken in for interrogation. Their vehicle, a Toyota Corolla was also confiscated for forensic tests.
The four suspects, between the ages 27 and 34 years are scheduled to appear in the Beaufort West Magistrates’ Court once they’ve been charged. They face charges of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition as well as conspiracy to commit an act of poaching. The first suspect will also be charged with bribery as he attempted to pay his way out.
Provincial Management in the Western Cape has praised the members involved whose vigilance and commitment undoubtedly foiled a certain attempt at poaching our wildlife.

Source: South African Police Service

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