The Hawks arrested a 36-year-old man in Gauteng at the weekend for being a suspected rhino horn dealer. Kelvin Chigwede was arrested on Saturday after being found in possession of R500,000, suspected to be proceeds of illegal rhino horn dealings.
Investigations led authorities to a residence in Benoni where a search warrant was executed. Upon searching the premises, authorities found about R500,000 in cash. The Cash seized is believed to be from the proceeds of illegal dealings, related to the confiscation of more than 70kg of Rhino Horn destined for Malaysia in December 2020.
Chigwede was arrested and charged for illegally dealing in rhino horns and contravention of the National Environmental Biodiversity Act.
He appeared in the Kempton Park regional court where the case was postponed to January 26 for a formal bail application.
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The consignment seized was marked as chicken feed, with the destination listed as Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). A wooden shipping container was found to contain a large blue geyser. After grinding it open, 17 pieces of rhino horn were revealed. The horns were covered in foil - a common practice to try and avoid detection at airport scanners. The flat tops visible in some of the wrapped pieces are indicative of previous de-horning (an increasingly common anti-poaching procedure). The weight of the Rhino Horn seized is 72.4kg.