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Media Release: Kruger National Park confirms arrests of 11 suspected rhino poachers

16 January 2017

South African National Parks (SANParks) today, 16 January 2017, confirmed the arrest of 11 suspects in anti-poaching operations inside and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Friday the 13 January 2017. The arrests were carried out by the SANParks Rangers Corps, South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) also known as the Hawks.

The first arrests took place in the Malelane area outside the KNP, where six suspects were taken into custody and a high caliber firearm and ammunition confiscated. A second SAPS operation in the Hazyview area 57 km’s outside KNP resulted in the recovery of six rhino horns.

Inside the KNP, Satara Rangers managed to arrest three suspected rhino poachers in a follow up operation and recovered a fire arm, ammunition and poaching equipment. In the Stolsnek Section of the iconic national park, Rangers managed to arrest two suspects after discovering a freshly poached rhino carcass. A rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment were also recovered.

Reacting to the news, the Chief Ranger in the KNP Nicholus Funda congratulated all the units involved in the arrests “our mission to achieve success in fighting this scourge is based on teamwork and support within all law enforcement agencies, communities and our neighboring private reserves. The resultant arrests of 11 individuals in one single day, is a good start to the year and will demonstrate to the crime syndicates that we are serious about ending this cruel attack on our heritage as a collective and are determined to protect our fauna and flora,” concluded Funda.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170

Media Enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks GM: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999

Ike Phaahla
SANParks Media Specialist
Tel: 012 426 5315; Cell: 083 673 6974

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