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Assam: Rhino poacher arrested near Kaziranga National Park (India)

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The Times of India | February 9, 2020

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GUWAHATI: A rhino poacher was arrested near Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park in Nagaon district of Assam on Saturday morning.

Original photo as published by Times of India: Rhino poacher arrested from Kaziranga National Park. (ANI Photo)

The poacher, identified as Pradip Mura, was apprehended from Harmati, a fringe area of the park. “The poacher was keeping arms and ammunitions ready for poaching. But he was waiting for a shooter. There are more people with him. We will be slowly picking them up once we are through with the investigation,” Jakhalabandha police station officer-in-charge Nipu Kalita said.

One .303 rifle with magazine and suppressor, eight rounds of live ammunition and one .22 rifle along with magazine was recovered from Mura’s house.

Rhino ‘poacher’ shot dead (Zimbabwe)

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Natasha Adam, The Chronicle | February 10, 2020

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A suspected rhino poacher was recently shot dead during a shoot-out with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers at Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo province.

ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said two other suspected poachers escaped.

Mr Farawo said the suspected rhino poachers were armed and ZimParks rangers managed to recover firearms at the scene. He described the incident which occurred on Monday last week as unfortunate.

The ZimParks spokesperson said the incident is still under police investigation and no arrests have been made yet. “It is unfortunate that one suspected poacher was shot dead in Save and two other suspected poachers managed to escape. We were able to recover a rifle that we suspect they were using, a silencer and four rounds of ammunition,” said Mr Farawo.

He said ZimParks had adopted zero tolerance to poaching.

Mr Farawo said on December 31 last year four ZimParks rangers were shot and killed during an exchange of fire with poachers in Kariba.

“We are on high alert. National parks are protected areas. They are no-go areas for illegal activities and poachers should be warned,” said Mr Farawo.

“It is difficult to arrest armed people so at the end of the day you have to fight fire with fire.”

Last month, three suspected poachers, among them a cop stationed at Bulawayo’s Pumula Police Station Nhlanhla Nkomo (43) appeared in court for allegedly poaching rhinos at Bubye Valley Conservancy outside Beitbridge.

Last year in May, two poachers were shot and killed during a shoot-out with rangers at Bubye Valley Conservancy. The two poachers who were armed with a rifle and an axe, had contact with rangers while tracking a rhino.

 

Assam: Wanted poacher involved in rhino killings held in Guwahati (India)

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Sandeep Borah, East Mojo News | February 10, 2020

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GUWAHATI: In a major breakthrough, the police arrested a dreaded poacher involved in rhino killings at Kaziranga National Park from a guest house in Birubari area of Assam’s Guwahati on Sunday.

As per reports, a joint team of security forces from Biswanath Wildlife Division along with a police team of Birubari outpost, based on specific inputs, conducted a search operation and successfully arrested the wanted poacher from a guest house at Birubari.

Original photo as published by East Mojo News: The arrested rhino poacher has been identified as Partha Pratim Das alias Sunti Das.

The arrested person has been identified as Partha Pratim Das alias Sunti Das, hailing from Telengonia village of Behali in Assam’s Biswanath district.

Police sources further revealed that Das was involved in several rhino poaching incidents at Kaziranga National Park and also acted as a mastermind in many of the organised crimes.

Speaking to media persons, investigating officer of Biswanath Forest Division, Santosh Shah, informed that Das hired a sharpshooter from Dimapur and attempted rhino poaching at Kaziranga National Park thrice in 2019, but all his attempts were foiled by security agencies.

In addition to it, Shah also revealed that after receiving a tip-off from specific sources, a forest department team from Behali and Biswanath division arrested the sharpshooter and seized arms and ammunition from him.

Meanwhile, the Biswanath Wildlife Division has so far nabbed nine accused in connection to rhino poaching cases, including Das.

Poaching suspect identified as policeman with links to Pilanesberg rhino poaching possibly (South Africa)

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Jenni Baxter, SA People | January 16, 2020

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POTCHEFSTROOM: The war on rhino poachers continues successfully with another suspected rhino poacher arrested on a game lodge near Rustenburg, South Africa, yesterday. The suspect has been identified as a police constable, and has possible links to the rhino poaching incidents that have plagued Pilanesberg.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said that the 33-year-old suspect was arrested during a Crime Intelligence Operation on the evening of Tuesday, 14 January 2019.

“Members of Provincial Organised Crime intercepted four suspects, who were allegedly in the process of poaching rhinos at a Game Lodge in Boitekong, near Rustenburg,” said SAPS in a media statement.

Once the suspects realised they were being cornered, three of them managed to escape into thick surrounding bushes.

However police managed to successfully arrest the fourth man who had been the driver of their vehicle, a VW Polo, said Colonel Adéle Myburgh in a statement.

Upon further investigation, the suspect was identified as Police Constable Amukelani Nkuna.

Nkuna appeared before the Thlabane Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for the alleged conspiracy to Commit Rhino Poaching. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Friday, 24 January 2020, said the statement.

“Furthermore the suspects are possibly linked to more cases of rhino poaching reported in Pilanesberg and more arrests are eminent,” revealed the statement.

Rhino poaching is fuelled by a myth that the horn has medicinal qualities to cure everything from a cold to cancer; and by a snobbish desire to own the horn as a status symbol (called “the Ferrari factor” by Pilanesberg).

Last year, after yet another tragic poaching incident in which Pilanesberg lost a white rhino bull, the Nature Reserve called on the public to do its bit to fight rhino poaching by spreading awareness to dispel the myths.

“This murdering of animals will never end unless the demand ends. It is up to each one of us to create awareness,” Pilanesberg said.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, today congratulated the team for the arrest.

He said that it is disappointing when a police member is arrested for the alleged conspiracy to commit a crime, but that unlawful and corrupt conduct will not be tolerated.

 

The big court cases that made headlines in the Lowveld

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Lowvelder | December 18, 2019

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It has been an eventful year in Lowveld courts, with some major cases being under judicial scrutiny in order to obtain justice for the victims of violent crimes, which is at an all-time high in the province. Poaching Kingpin Big Joe’s trial was one of the significant cases that the Lowveld criminal justice system had to contend with.

Joseph Nyalunga’s, better known as Big Joe, court proceedings will carry on between 4-8 May 2020, but the date is yet to be confirmed.

Alleged rhino poaching honchos, Petros Sidney Mabuza and Joseph Nyalunga, have a long history of run-ins with the law. Dubbed “Mr Big” and “Big Joe”, several cases and investigations related to poaching and theft have been opened against them.

Nyalunga, a former policeman, was first arrested in December 2011, after the police confiscated items that were allegedly obtained through illegal proceeds gained from rhino poaching. These items were supposedly worth more than R8 million. He was released on bail of R30 000 in March 2013. Since then the case has been postponed numerous times.

A major operation by various members of law enforcement led to the re-arrest of the two poaching kingpins again on September 18, 2018.

Petros Sidney Mabuza was recently back in the White River Magistrate’s Court on July 5, for two cases in which he is accused of, among other things, theft and trading of rhino horn. According to NPA spokesman, Monica Nuyiswa, the case has been transferred to the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court for a trial scheduled to start in mid-2020.

 

Rhino poacher held in Orang National Park (State of Assam, India)

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Northeast Now | November 12, 2019

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Forest officials have arrested a man, who was allegedly involved in rhino poaching in Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve in Darrang district.

Forest officials said rhino poacher Jakir Hussain, 49, was arrested on Tuesday from his home at Nurpur Bhairguri Pathargaon village under Dhekiajuli police station in Sonitpur district. Acting on intelligence input, a team of forest protection force led by BV Sandeep, divisional forest officer (DFO), Mangaldai Wildlife Division, launched an operation and nabbed Jakir.

Original photo as published by Nenow.in: Rhino poacher Jakir Hussain, 49, was arrested on Tuesday from his home.

A forest official said, Jakir, who was earlier also involved in the incident of rhino poaching, planned to kill rhinos at the Orang National Park.

Earlier in September, a rhino poacher was shot dead by a joint team of the police and forest guards in the National Park.

In October, Darrang police apprehended three poachers along with arms and ammunition in two separate incidents.

Spread over 79-sqkm, Organg National Park has 101 one-horned rhinos, 24 Royal Bengal tigers and many other avian and aquatic species.

But rhinos and tigers face threat of international gang of poachers.

Dreaded rhino poacher arrested with arms in Assam’s Biswanath District (India)

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Hemanta Kumar Nath, India Blooms | November 5, 2019

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GUWAHATI: In a joint operation, the police and Assam forest department have arrested a dreaded rhino poacher with arms in Assam’s Biswanath district on Tuesday.

Based on intelligence input, a joint team of Biswanath district police and state forest department had launched operation at Baligaon area under Ghpur police station and arrested the rhino poacher.

The arrested poacher was identified as Pabitra Kaman.

Security personnel had also recovered one .303 rifle in possession from him.

The arrested poacher was involved in the rhino poaching incidents at Agaratoli and Lokhora range under Kaziranga National Park.

Assam: Dreaded rhino poacher nabbed (India)

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Uttam Saikia, Northeast Now | November 3, 2019

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A rhino poacher involved in the killing of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park’s (KNP) sixth addition and Agratoli forest range has been arrested on Saturday night.

The poacher, identified as Dambe Kutum, has been arrested in a joint operation carried out by forest and police officials.

The operation was jointly carried out by the Crime Investigation Range of Biswanath Wildlife Division and Helem police in areas under Gomiri and Agratoli forest ranges.

Original photo as published by Nenow.in. (Image: Northeast Now)

Apart from being involved in the killing of rhinos in the national park, Kutum has also been supplying arms illegally to other rhino poachers by taking help from a person from Arunachal Pradesh.

Two rhino poachers who had been arrested along with a huge cache of arms on Thursday admitted they had procured the arms from Kutum.

The arrested rhino poachers have been identified as Kiran Das and Ranoj Pegu.

After questioning these rhino poachers, the police and forest officials have finally been successful in arresting Kutum.