Swaziland poachers may have been local

MBOMBELA – According to Mick Reilly of Big Game Parks, the three were apprehended just before midnight on Saturday in a joint operation by the Lubombo Serious Crime Police Unit and members of BGP’s elite anti-poaching unit. “The suspects were fatally wounded during an exchange of fire deep within the park,” he said.

He added that, although the identity of the deceased suspects has not been confirmed, it is strongly suspected that there are South African nationals from Lowveld syndicates among them. A high-powered hunting rifle, axes, a saw and other items used for poaching rhinos, were recovered on the scene.

“With the escalating levels of rhino poaching occurring mainly in KZN and Mpumalanga province in South Africa, as well as seizures of rhino horn consignments internationally, Swaziland is extremely concerned that such practice may take root,” Reilly told Lowvelder.

“We have to engage every effort in Swaziland to keep the rhino-poaching levels to a minimum, to avoid Swaziland’s small rhino population from being poached out.”

De Wet Potgieter

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