Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:02 pm

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Hope it lasts! 0:

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:20 pm

Lowvelder: MoU has not stopped poaching

A year after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between SA and MOZ

PRETORIA – The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Mozambican and the South African governments a year ago, has so far not saved the rhino or elephant on the South African side of the border.

Most of the 827 rhino poached in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in 2014 can be traced to incursions from Mozambique on the eastern border of the KNP.

Rhino in KNP. Photo courtesy Richard Prinsloo of Africa Wild

The resurgence of elephant poaching in KNP started in 2014 with the poaching of two bulls in the Parfuri area in northern KNP. The MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management between the two governments was signed on April 17, 2014. According to the spokesman of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Albi Modise the implementation plan is being developed. “The implementation plan is being developed by officials of the two countries. The plan will facilitate the conducting of coordinated law-enforcement operations and the management and protection areas.”

A joint park management committee (JPMC) has already been established and its inaugural meeting was held earlier in April.
JPMC will facilitate collaboration between Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique and KNP on issues of protection, conservation management, community beneficiation, communication and fund-raising. The security cluster also forms part of a cross-border protocol to facilitate the movement of officials across the international border and the joint training of rangers.

The process of resettling villages out of the LNP has been accelerated.
Macavene’s 160 families and Nanguene’s 18 ave already been relocated. Resettlement of a third village, Massingir Velho is ongoing with 40 families’ relocation complete and the balance of the 300 families in the process of being moved. This process is planned to be completed by 2017.

The relocation of Mavodze’s 620 families is ongoing and this will be the last group to be relocated. House construction has started at the new location and families will move as houses are being completed from October 2015 to December 2017.

Mavodze Village is where the kingpin called Navarra, threatened the lives of a German journalists, Bartholomäus Grill and Swedish photographer, Torbjörn Selander.

The journalist, working for Der Spiegel in Germany, exposed that at least 10 teams of poachers, working for the kingpin, operated in KNP at any given day.
Grill explained that Navarra was like a “godfather” in the community.

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Tue May 19, 2015 12:17 pm

Ivory and rhino horn seized in Mozambique

In a raid on a private home in Matola, Mozambique more than one ton of ivory and 65 rhino horns were recently seized.

Image © EcoView –

A Chinese national has reportedly been arrested. The cache included 340 elephant tusks weighting 1,160kg and 65 rhino horns weighing 124kg. Authorities said some of the tusks were still bloody, indicating they were from recently poached elephants.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said that while it applauded any confiscation of illegal ivory, it was crucial that governments looked beyond seizures as the answer to disrupting trafficking.

"Seizures of ivory are always good news in the fight against poaching and illegal trafficking because they indicate improved levels of law enforcement, but seizures are the public face of a very tragic scenario that is killing up to 50,000 elephants a year and shows no sign of abating," said Jason Bell, director IFAW Southern Africa and Director of IFAW's Elephant Programme. The IUCN says the African elephant population currently stands at 470,000 - down from 550,000 in 2006.

Increase in poaching

Earlier this month, the South African government announced that rhino poaching during the first quarter of 2015 had outstripped the same period last year, with 393 rhinos poached countrywide between January and 31 April 2015, 290 of those were killed in the Kruger National Park which shares its long eastern border with Mozambique.

"The only way countries are going to stop poaching of elephants and illegal trade is by cooperating with agencies such as Interpol, and the law enforcement bodies of other governments to map and profile those behind this transnational criminal activity and dedicate the resources needed to reduce the capacity of those who seek profit from ivory trafficking.

"There is a great need to focus on strategies which seek to deter and halt the killing of these magnificent creatures," Bell said.

Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and is coveted as 'white gold'. Availability of legal ivory in China purchased from the stockpile sale in Southern Africa in 2008 has, in turn, boosted demand encouraging illegal ivory trade and the poaching of elephant to meet market needs.

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:54 am

Police involvement in theft of rhino horns confirmed

The General Command of the Mozambican police has confirmed that senior police officers were indeed involved in last month’s theft of 12 rhino horns.

The 12 horns were part of the country’s largest ever seizure of illicit wildlife products. On 12 May police raided a house in the southern city of Matola and seized 340 elephant tusks and 65 rhino horns. Two Chinese citizens were arrested, suspected of attempting to smuggle these goods out of the country.

But less than a fortnight later 12 of the horns had vanished, replaced by replicas made out of cattle horns. Six people were arrested in connection with the theft, but initially, the Maputo provincial commanded refused to confirm or deny whether any of them were police officers.

However, on 2 June the spokesperson for the General Command, Pedro Cossa, gave the names and ranks of four police officers involved. One was Calisto (surname not given), who is an inspector and head of the local brigade of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC). The others are chief inspector Faustino Artur, sub-inspector Victor Luis Arrone, and sergeant Tadeu Gaspar.

Also under arrest are Elias Matusse, of the Maputo Provincial Directorate of Land, Environment and Rural Development, and the two makers of the replica horns, Zefanias Aurelio and John Chauque. This brings the number of detentions to seven.

Cossa said there could be no justification for the involvement of police officers in such a crime. “The police force cannot be stained with this kind of action”, he exclaimed. “They have dirtied the entire force”.

Cossa guaranteed that security on the warehouse where the rest of the horns and the ivory are stored has been stepped up.

Environmental activists have been calling for the incineration of the horns and the ivory, precisely to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. The police, however, say they do not have any authorization to destroy the material.

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:15 am

Somebody doubted it? 0*\

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:04 am


Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:08 pm

‘We have to understand how rhino-poaching syndicates operate’

2015-06-30 14:30
Pearlie Joubert-

Mozambican conservationists have targeted syndicates poaching in SA and try to provide alternatives to crime

“Rhino-poaching syndicates are turning our young Mozambican men into criminals. Too many of them are coming back in body bags. We have to stop this,” says Dr Leonardo Simão, executive director of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and its wildlife preservation initiative.

Unconfirmed figures indicate that about 490 poachers were “neutralised” – arrested and/or killed during skirmishes with rangers inside the Kruger National Park over the past five years. At least 80% of them were Mozambican. That’s 392 Mozambican men.

The park refuses to say how many of these men were killed. But City Press learnt reliably that more than 220 poachers lost their lives over the past five years.

Last year alone, 110 Mozambicans were “neutralised” while poaching rhinos inside the Kruger Park, and about 30 South Africans too. In 2013, an unconfirmed 47 poachers died in firefights with rangers.

On one day two weeks ago, 10 rhino carcasses were found and there were 11 poacher casualties and injuries during skirmishes between rangers and poachers. They were all from Mozambique.

By April this year, 33 poachers were arrested in the Kruger Park, most of them from Mozambique. Last year, a record 151 poachers were arrested in the park – also mostly Mozambicans.

“The link between the destruction of wildlife and poverty is established and very strong. We’re assisting the Mozambican government to preserve wildlife. To do that, we have to help create alternatives to communities around the park. We have to first stop the killing and criminalisation of Mozambicans. We have to focus on the syndicates.”

Simão is as good as his word.

Last year, landowners on the Mozambican side of the Kruger Park said that whenever rhinos made it through the park’s fence, they “contact the Kruger, which dispatches a helicopter to chase the rhinos back inside”.

“Rhinos don’t last in Mozambique for more than a couple of days,” said the owner of a game lodge on the border of the southern part of the park.

But that was then. In the eight months since the Chissano Foundation’s preservation initiative began, the Mozambican government and the Peace Parks Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding, beefed up security around the border with the Kruger Park and launched antipoaching operations around Mozambique’s adjacent Limpopo National Park. There has been a “marked changed” in poaching patterns.

The Mozambican government has also deployed a specially trained environmental police force along the border. City Press learnt from two senior SA National Parks officials in the Kruger Park that “up to 70% of all poachers enter from the western boundary of the park”.

“It’s a combination of the working relationship with the Mozambican government, private land operators and the Kruger, but there’s no doubt the majority of poachers now enter the park from villages in South Africa dotting its western boundary,” said one senior official.

“Last year we saw most of the poachers entering the Kruger from Mozambique. It’s changed dramatically. Our poachers, still mainly Mozambicans, now enter from South Africa. They’ve shifted their operations – guns and transportation – to South Africa. There’s no doubt about it,” said another senior Kruger Park official.

Speaking from his office in Maputo, Simão clearly understood the challenge.

“We are talking about a $19 billion (R230 billion) criminal trade dealing in wildlife. Rhino-horn trafficking is part of that trade. Antipoaching and counter-trafficking programmes form part of what we do,” he said.

“Mozambicans know that to poach is risky and illegal. They risk their lives, their children’s lives. But because they profit, it’s worth the risk.

“We have to understand how the syndicates operate. We’re getting there. We know that when a poacher is killed, the syndicate will still bring the money to the family. So the family reckons: ‘We’ve lost our son, but are being compensated.’

“So the next son also goes. At the foundation, we try to focus on creating alternatives.

“The foundation is focusing on the human development of communities taking those risks. We know from other countries that better-off communities don’t poach,” Simão said.

“There’s not a single rhino left in Mozambique because of poaching. We need rhinos back in Mozambique. Until April last year, poaching was not a crime in Mozambique. This is a long and tough road ahead. We’re certain our country is committed to giving communities decent alternatives to turning criminal.

“Then you also restore people’s dignity. Our people don’t like being on the wrong side of the law. Our kids don’t want to leave school to poach.”

Wildlife trafficking

President of the Environmental Investigation Agency Allan Thornton has asked the US secretary of state to “certify Mozambique and enact substantial trade sanctions that include ... all listed specimens under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora exported to the US” because of large-scale poaching and illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory.

In his letter, Thornton wrote that this “directly undercut President [Barack] Obama’s July 2013 executive order on combating wildlife trafficking”.

“Available evidence indicates that Mozambican nationals constitute the highest number of foreign arrests for poaching in South Africa. Organised crime syndicates based in Mozambique are driving large-scale illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory and subsequent smuggling to Vietnam and other consuming nations such as China,” the letter reads. – Pearlie Joubert

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:25 pm ... PL20150706

Mozambique burns seized ivory, rhino horn in anti-poaching drive

Mozambique burned 2.5 tonnes of seized ivory and rhino horn on Monday as part of a campaign to end an illicit trade that is fueling a wave of big animal poaching in Africa, a conservation group said.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said in a statement that over 2,400 kgs (5,280 lbs) of ivory and 86 pieces of rhino horn weighing 193.5 kgs were put to the torch, in the first major destruction of rhino horn ever.

"Today sends a signal. Mozambique will not tolerate poachers, traffickers and the organized criminals which employ and pay them to kill our wildlife and threaten our communities," Mozambique environment minister Celso Correia was quoted as saying.

A recent survey showed Mozambique lost around 10,000 elephants, or half its elephant population, over the past five years to poachers who have been feeding demand for ivory from fast-growing Asian economies such as China.

Neighboring South Africa lost a record 1,125 rhinos last year, up 20 percent from 2013, as poachers looked to meet surging consumption in Vietnam, where the animal's horn is coveted as a key ingredient in traditional medicines.

The stockpiles burnt on Monday included 65 pieces of rhino horn that Mozambican police found in the home of a Chinese national earlier this year - the largest such seizure.

Destroying such stockpiles is more than symbolic.

A global ban on the trade in ivory and ivory horn could eventually be lifted.

But countries that destroy their stocks - instead of saving them to sell if trade is legalized - are signaling their opposition to such a move.

In the last three months the Republic of Congo, China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have publicly destroyed ivory stocks.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Joe Brock)

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:26 pm ... 2015-07-07

DA: Terri Stander says Mozambique rhino horn burn a loss for bilateral cooperation

The DA is disappointed that Mozambique burned rhino horn without sending DNA samples to SA. Minister Molewa has confirmed South Africa did not know about the 53 rhino horns burned in Mozambique as part of a broader 1ton ivory burn that took place earlier today. I will write to Minister Molewa to ask what she is doing to facilitate better co-operation between African countries to curb poaching of rhinos and on the illicit trade in rhino horn. An opportunity for bilateral cooperation to obtain critical DNA sampling to bring criminals to book has been lost. DNA evidence is critical for the prosecution of rhino poaching crimes thereby facilitating successful convictions resulting in decreasing poaching incidents from increasing risk of prosecution. Whilst we respect every country's right to sovereignty, consultation and cooperation is essential to putting a stop to the rhino poaching crisis. Issued by the DA

Re: Cross-Border Poaching KNP - Mozambique

Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:59 pm


3459. Ms T Stander (DA) to ask the Minister of Police:
Whether, with regard to the fight against rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park, the cross-border hot pursuit agreement with Mozambique is (a) in place and (b) functioning; if not, why not; if so, (i) how many hot pursuit incidents have been carried out and (ii) what was the (aa) outcome and (bb) success rate of the actions?

(a) No, there is no hot pursuit agreement in place, however, during 1995 a general agreement in respect of Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in the Field of Crime Combating was concluded between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique in order to promote cooperation between the respective police services. Subsequently, during 1997 a multi-lateral agreement, similar to the agreement with Mozambique was developed for the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) which comprises virtually the same content. This multi-lateral agreement was subsequently signed and ratified by 12 Southern African States, including the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique.

In terms of the agreement a police official of a party may enter into and be present in, or travel through or across the territory of another party for the purpose of the cooperation contemplated in the agreement. This right of entry is subject to the municipal laws of the hosting state, and approval being obtained from the Central Office of that state provided for in the agreement.

The agreement expressly provides that a visiting police official shall under no circumstances have the right to Act on his/her own, but shall at all times be accompanied by a member of the hosting police service and that all actions to be taken shall be done by the hosting police official concerned, to the extent that he/she is authorised to do so by the municipal (domestic) law of that country.

Accordingly, where suspects are being pursued in South Africa and cross into Mozambique the assistance of the Mozambican Police has to be requested and last mentioned may to the extent that it is permissible in terms of their domestic law take such steps which are appropriate in the circumstances, which could include the tracing and arrest of the suspects and /or the seizure of exhibits. In circumstances where an arrest is effected and/ or exhibits are seized, by the Mozambican police, such person(s)/ item(s) shall be dealt with in accordance with Mozambican law.”
(b) Yes
(b)(i) None
(ii)(aa) None
(ii)(bb) None