Pangolin poachers arrested in Tzaneen

A Pangolin was found inside a car after three people were arrested for trying to sell it in Tzaneen. Photo: Lim SAPS

LIMPOPO – Police spokesperson Lt Col Moatshe Ngoepe says police in the province will continue the fight against crime affecting protected species.

This follows yet another arrest in connection with Pangolin Poaching, in Tzaneen, where three people were arrested for possession of a protected species.

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Ngoepe says the K9 Unit were doing their normal duties in the area when they received information that there were three people selling a pangolin at the Lifestyle Mall in Tzaneen.

The unit reacted swiftly and arrested the suspects.

“During the arrest, a Pangolin was found inside the car and confiscated,” Ngoepe said.

The suspects were identified as Simba Simango (32), Jacob Thosago (27) and Chipo Maphosa (19).

“The suspects appeared before the Tzaneen Magistrate Court, where they were all denied bail. Their case was remanded to 19 May 2017 for a formal bail application and further police investigation,” Ngoepe said.

In a separate case in Makhado, Victor Mulalo Ratombo (37) was sentenced to three years imprisonment or to pay a fine of R40 000 after pleading guilty in the Waterval Magistrate’s Court.

Victor Mulalo Ratombo. Photo: Lim SAPS

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This follows his arrest on 08 October 2014 for possession of a Pangolin, a protected species.

“The animal was found wrapped in a mealie meal bag in the back of the accused’s vehicle and it was confiscated,” Ngoepe explained.

At the time of his arrest, the accused was amid selling the Pangolin at a local taxi rank in Makhado.

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Raeesa Kimmie

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