Five arrested for illegal horn trading in Mpu

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Staff reporter

Members of Mpumalanga’s Hawks Mpumalanga, after following a tip-off have arrested various people for buying rhino horns without proper documentation and permits.

Two Chinese Nationals, Yansen Fenc and Liu Li Hong were found in possession of rhino horns, allegedly bought from Deon Cornelius (46), a  game farmer in Middelburg.

The Hawks found the horns tied to the undercarriage of a white Lexus on a gravel road on the outskirts of the town, along with various objects used for drug use and thousands of Rand. The horns are valued at R175 000 and according to a police statement, R675 000 from Cornelius and R240 000 in possession of the Chinese nationals were also seized. After a follow up investigation, elephant tusks were also found in Hong’s home in Mabopane.

Fenc, Hong, Cornelius and Jozeph Albertus Du Plessis (71) and his wife Susanne (55) from Bainsvlei in Bloemfontein will appear in court today. Fenc made bail during a previous appearance, as did the Du Plessis couple and Cornelius.

The investigation continues.

(Rewrite and editing – Alex Rose-Innes.)