A tiger skin was among animal product found in the possession of eight men outside Klerksdorp. Lion meat and bones were also found in their possession. Photo: Hawks
RUSTENBURG - Eight people have been arrested in connection with the illegal possession of lion meat and bones outside Klerksdorp in the North West, the Hawks said on Monday.
Police spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said the suspects, aged between 22 and 60, were arrested on Sunday, during an intelligence-driven operation conducted by the Hawks’ North West serious organised crime unit assisted by crime intelligence, Klerksdorp TRT, Potchefstroom flying squad and the department of nature conservation.
"The team intercepted two vehicles at the intersection of N12 and Dominionville driving in a convoy headed to an unused farm in Mareetsane. A search of both vehicles the team recovered lion bones, lion meat, a tiger skin, gas cylinders, gas burners, containers, a saw, knives and other equipment which is believed to have been used to process the lion bones," she said.
"The suspects took the team to another farm approximately 30km from Klerksdorp where the lions were allegedly slaughtered. At the farm, a lion skin was found dumped in the bush and large machines which are believed to have been the instruments for cutting the bones were also found in the garage."
The suspects are expected to appear in the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, facing charges of illegal possession of game products without a permit and carrying out restricted activities involving a specimen of a listed, threatened or protected species.