Four suspects found with ivory tusks arrested in Limpopo

Ivory tusks were found in possession of the four suspects. Picture: SAPS

Ivory tusks were found in possession of the four suspects. Picture: SAPS

Published Feb 22, 2024


Four suspects, who were arrested for allegedly being in possession of six ivory tusks were expected to appear in court in Limpopo on Thursday.

Police in the province, along with a multidisciplinary force comprising of the K9 and Border Policing Units, private security companies, as well as the Farm Watch in Musina, Vhembe District, arrested the suspects on Tuesday.

The provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the team received a tip-off during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“The Border Policing members received information about a poaching incident in Musina. An intelligence-driven operation was activated and subsequently, four male suspects were nabbed while carrying six pieces of ivory tusks weighing about 17kg with an estimated street value of R650,000 as well as a dead pangolin,” Ledwaba said.

Ivory tusks were found in possession of the four suspects. Photo: SAPS

The items were seized and confiscated and handed over to the police’s Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit for further investigations.

In a separate incident, members of the Border Policing through Operations Vala Umgodi seized a ferry believed to be utilised for smuggling illegal immigrants and counterfeit goods across the Limpopo River near the Beitbridge Border post from an illegal harbour.

The illegal ferry. Picture: SAPS

The ferry was set alight and destroyed.

In another incident, police in joint efforts with members of the military arrested six undocumented foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 39, on Tuesday in Driekop in the Sekhukhune District.

The group was arrested while digging chrome underground at illegal mining sites.

The ferry was set alight and destroyed. Picture: SAPS

“Mining equipment including a power generator, two shovels, and seven jack-hammers was confiscated,” Ledwaba said.

The Limpopo Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe hailed the collaborative efforts that yielded remarkable successes in the space of one day.

"Through this high-density Operation Vala Umgodi in conjunction with other Stakeholders we will continue to squeeze any identified crime to zero," concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.

The suspects are expected to appear before various magistrate's courts on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

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