The alleged kingpin of one of South Africa’s biggest and most violent rhino poaching syndicates, accused of obtaining 84 rhino horns via illegal means, has been arrested following a operation led by the South African Hawks.
Hugo Ras and nine other members of the suspected poaching gang appeared in court after they were arrested in various parts of the country in a simultaneous arrest operation led by the Hawks, following a year-long investigation. 318 charges have been laid against the suspects
The syndicate is believed to be responsible for poaching of 24 rhino, including a pregnant cow and a small calf, in state and privately owned reserves around the country between June 2008 and June 2012.
Of the poached rhino, 22 were darted with a potent drug, known as M99, used by poachers to knock out rhinos. The other two rhino were shot with a firearm.
The state has ask for the court case to be postponed until Monday 29 September and that all the accused are remanded in custody.
Citizen online – Ruthless rhino poaching syndicate rounded up by Hawks
Citizen online – Alleged rhino poaching syndicate members appear in court