Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Thu May 22, 2014 1:51 pm

Rhino horn theft investigated

May 22 2014 9:24AM

PETER RAMOTHWALA

A Hawks' probe into the multimillion-rand theft of rhino horns in Mpumalanga is at an advanced stage.

The horns went missing after a burglary at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) offices that saw 112 pieces of rhino horn weighing 80.135kg stolen from a secure safe last month.

Security personnel on site discovered the break-in.

Nkambule said these were pieces mainly from dehorning operations conducted.

Spokesperson for the unit, Capt Paul Ramaloko, confirmed the investigation but did not say when arrests were likely.

However, the CEO of the MTPA, Jacques Modipane, who was placed on special leave a few days after the theft of the horns, is back at work.

The MTPA has launched a parallel investigation into the matter.

Spokesperson for MTPA, Kholofelo Nkambule, confirmed that Modipane was back at work without completing the 14 days special leave he had been put on.

MTPA board chairperson Clarah Ndlovu removed Modipane from his post but Ndlovu herself was later suspended for not consulting with MEC Yvonne Phosa.

In a report in 2010, private investigator Paul O’Sullivan had called on the MPTA to relocate the horns, saying they were not safe and the agency could not store them.

But Nkambule said the new administration under Modipane had not seen the report.

“The pieces taken were kept in our storage to register them and later move them to another secure location where the bulk of stock is kept.

“Some of the pieces of rhino horn were micro-chipped, DNA sampled and photographed according to the National Norms and Standards,” she said.

peterr@thenewage.co.za

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Thu May 22, 2014 6:32 pm

In a report in 2010, private investigator Paul O’Sullivan had called on the MPTA to relocate the horns, saying they were not safe and the agency could not store them.

But Nkambule said the new administration under Modipane had not seen the report.

“The pieces taken were kept in our storage to register them and later move them to another secure location where the bulk of stock is kept.


I once again put it to you that there is no other location for "bulk of stock" as far as MTPA is concerned. If she did not see the report, why would horns then not still be kept at the offices? 0-

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:01 pm

Shewwww what a can of worms! http://oxpeckers.org/2014/06/standoff-a ... 0000002,12

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:22 pm

On radio today...

Two suspects arrested in connection with the theft here...one in hospital and the other appeared in magistrate's court today, pleading a confession had been beaten out of him, and off to hospital himself!

Whatever the case may be, to excuse the pun, this must be one of the speediest court appearances in the history of rhino poaching! ^Q^

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:26 pm

Two people arrested in connection with the theft of 112 rhino horns from a strongroom at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) were expected to appear in court on Monday.


“They were arrested around Nelspruit, one on Friday and the other on Saturday, and investigations are still continuing,” Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

The pair were expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on charges of burglary and theft, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Ramaloko said they were not MTPA employees.

There had been speculation that the theft was the result of an inside job.

Altogether 112 rhino horns were stolen from a secure strongroom at the MTPA on the night of April 20.

The horns had been removed from live rhinos in order to protect them from poachers.

- Sapa



http://citizen.co.za/192532/two-arreste ... orn-theft/

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:30 pm

Mpuma rhino horn thieves nabbed

June 9 2014 at 07:04pm
By SHAIN GERMANER



Nelspruit -The syndicate responsible for stealing 112 fragments of rhino horn from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) could soon be cracked after two of its members were arrested at the weekend.

The horns, believed to be worth millions of rand, were stolen from the Nelspruit offices in April and taken to a nearby graveyard, where they were buried in a shallow grave before being shipped into Mozambique a while later.

The horns had been kept at MTPA, after being taken from live rhinos, to ensure their safety.

As the syndicate did not take guns and ivory stored in the same facility and went straight for the rhino horns, investigators said at the time they thought it was an inside job.

But the two men arrested on Saturday and Sunday are not MTPA employees, said Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko.

However, a source close to the investigations told The Star on Monday morning that an inside job had all but been confirmed, and the horns could still be recovered.

The source told how the horns had been buried in a graveyard near the MTPA offices and left there for a couple of days before being transported to Mozambique.

It is understood the Mozambican authorities are co-operating with local investigators to ensure the recovery of the horns.

Ramaloko said they expected to make more arrests soon.

The two men held over the weekend were expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of burglary and theft.

It is believed members of the syndicate accessed the MTPA building through an office window, then cut open the door to the main storage room before laying their hands on more than 80kg of rhino horns.

The break-in was discovered by security personnel at about 5.30am on April 21.

The Star has received a report by forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan from four years ago that warned the MTPA of the high-risk nature of storing the horns at its premises in Nelspruit, urging the organisation to up its security.

“It was determined that there are inadequate security measures on such valuable items, making it well worthwhile for an organised team of robbers to carry out an armed robbery at the premises of the MTPA, for the purpose of stealing all the stored tusks and horns,” the report read.

“Although a successful robbery would depend on inside help, it should be noted that more than 90 percent of all major robberies in South Africa are carried out with the use of inside help.”

O’Sullivan told The Star that his forensic reports were confidential and he could thus not comment on his findings.

At the time, while not directly responding to questions posed by The Star on O’Sullivan’s report, the MTPA did say its perimeter was well-secured, with controlled access, 24-hour security personnel on guard and regular patrols of the premises.

Speaking on the value of the horns, rhino activist Terry Bengis said at the time the value differed depending on the level at which they were bought in the chain.

He said poachers generally earned between R30 000 and R35 000 for each horn, while the “end user” paid $62 000 (R655 603) a kilogram.

Bengis said he was worried that this incident could see the rhino horn syndicates shift their attention to targeting stockpiles.

The Star

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/ ... 5X8cCjm5eo

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:42 pm

Obviously it is an inside job...don't know of any graveyard nearby, and why would one go that route? 0-
Also Hawks must decide if they were arrested saturday, Sunday or Friday!? O**

local politics make national politics look like a picnic here, trust me! =O:

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:21 pm

Ali Baba and his fourty thieves, just a rhyme!!!!!

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:22 pm

Care to share a smoke with old Ali!!!! O**

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:36 pm

Lowvelder:

Mrs Ndlovu has been reinstated as a member of MTPA Board.