Suspected rhino poachers' assets seized
THE Asset Forfeiture Unit seized assets valued at R55m from suspected rhino poachers in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Wednesday, police said.
Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said the assets were believed to have been acquired through crime, particularly rhino poaching.
They were seized from Dawie Groenewald, and two veterinary surgeons, Dr Karel Toet and Dr Manie Du Plessis.
The three were officially charged with 1872 counts of racketeering in September 2010, in one of the biggest wildlife crime cases in South Africa.
"While this matter is still pending in court, the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act allow the Asset Forfeiture Unit to seize and preserve the assets of an accused until the case is finalised," Col Naidoo said.
On conviction, the seizure was realised and the proceeds were used to combat crime. Col Naidoo said 99 people had been arrested across the country since January for rhino-related matters.
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