10 May 2010
ABOUT R45million worth of assets belonging to alleged rhino poachers were seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit at the weekend.
The trial against four accused – George Fletcher, Gerhardus Saaiman, Frans van Deventer and Kumaran Moodaley – will resume in the Pretoria high court in October .
Their three co-accused – Nicolaas Deventer, Gideon van Denter and Pieter Swart – are already serving sentence after they pleaded guilty.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the men faced charges ranging from racketeering, money laundering, theft and malicious damage to property.
“The offenses were committed between 2005 and 2006 when 17 rhinos were killed and their horns cut off in the Kruger National Park, the Umfolozi National Park and game parks in the Bela Bela and Komatipoort districts.”
Mhaga said the accused allegedly committed these offences as part of a group of hunters, a pilot, middlemen and buyers.
“A small Aerostar plane was used to locate rhinos in various national parks around the country. It was also used to transport poachers to where rhinos had been spotted where they would be shot and dehorned,” he said.
Seized assets included residential properties – including Fletcher’s seven farms – a helicopter, the Aerostar and several businesses.
Ek hoop hulle sterf in die tronk, hoe kan hulle soos k4'rs diere doodskiet vir geld wat in elkgeval by die chineese beland