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November 23, 2014 | Last Updated 7:32 AM
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National & Provincial
Jan 17 2013 12:25AM
 
Rhino suspects arrested
ON GUARD: Arrests have been made at Madikwe. Picture: Gallo Images
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Irvine Makuyana

The Hawks on Wednesday detained two rhino poaching suspects at Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West.

The two men could be charged with trespassing and be subjected to immigration laws while investigations continue.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko yesterday said: “We managed to arrest two suspected poachers at Madikwe Game Reserve on Tuesday. The two men had their bags and clothes. They appeared to have camped there for two days and we cannot rule out the possibility that they were scanning for rhinos.”

However, there was uncertainty as to whether or not the two detained men were indeed rhino poachers.

“It appears the two men are undocumented foreigners from Mozambique. It would have been understandable if they had been caught at Kruger National Park because we share the border with Mozambique in that area,” Ramaloko said.

The detention comes at a time when the country is stepping up efforts to counter rhino poaching following the killing of 668 rhinos for their horns last year.

The numbers of rhinos poached have multiplied drastically since 2008 when 83 rhinos were killed for their horns.

irvinem@thenewage.co.za

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