Johannesburg law enforcement’s Serious Organised Investigation (SOI) unit has been applauded for its efforts in striking a major blow in the city’s illicit drug and rhino horn trade.
In a statement, the South African Police Service (SAPS) published the results of a collaborative operation between the Hawks’ South African National Enforcement Bureau (SANEB), the SOI, Crime Intelligence and Ekurhuleni Metro Police’s SWAT team.
Law enforcement cracks down on illegal drug and rhino trade
The operation launched on Thursday, 2 May, and since then the operation has seen the arrest of multiple suspects and the seizure of illicit drugs with a cumulative street value of at least R9.9-million.
The biggest victory of the weekend’s activities came from Kempton Park, Johannesburg, where a consignment of rhino horn was intercepted by the SOI team.
Rhino horn consignment intercepted in Kempton Park
According to police spokesperson, Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, after receiving reliable intelligence about the suspected warehouse, the unit rushed into the establishment on Friday, and found the rhino horn, worth R38-million, stashed in wine crates.
“The consignment was destined for Malaysia. No arrests have been made as yet, investigations are underway,” Captain Mulamu revealed.
This news comes a couple of weeks after law enforcement recorded the biggest rhino horn seizure in South African history.
Two suspects, Petrus Steyn and Clive John, were caught attempting to enter the North West province with a stash of 167 horns.
According to the police report, the consignment was making its way to South East Asia, where it was allegedly meant to be sold in the black market.
The two suspects have been released on bail, and are due to appear in court on 12 July.