By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj, The Independent Online
An intelligence-driven operation by the Hawks has resulted in the arrest of six suspects caught with elephant tusks in Durban.
Police said the suspects, aged between 27 and 40, face charges for contravening the National Environmental Management of the Biodiversity Act.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale, said the first three suspects were nabbed after police received information about men possessing elephant tusks.
“Three men were intercepted while driving into the King Shaka International Airport and a search was conducted.
“Two elephant tusks were found inside their vehicle and they were immediately arrested after they failed to provide the reason for them to possess parts of endangered species,” said Mogale.
He added the recovered tusks weighed 8.1 kilograms and have an estimated street value of R200,000
Mogale said the investigation led police to a lodge in Durban North where the remaining three suspects were arrested.
“Their vehicle was seized for further investigation. It was further discovered that the suspects were in Durban searching for a buyer of the tusks.”
All six suspects are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on February 22.