SANParks employee arrested for rhino poaching

JOHANNESBURG – An employee of the South African National Parks (SANParks) was arrested after he reportedly was involved in activities for rhinoceros poaching.

In a statement Tuesday, SANParks said the armed guard for technical services in the Kruger National Park (KNP) was arrested on Saturday afternoon along with three other suspects who later managed to escape from police custody.

SANParks said the arrests took place after a SANParks Protection Services, Security Guard, deployed at the Paul Kruger gate, noticed four suspects entering the park in a vehicle.

The security agent reported officials from the South African police (SAPS) who had also been deployed at the gate at that time and the four suspects were subsequently arrested and detained.

"Heavy caliber rifle, ammunition and poaching related equipment were recovered, but unfortunately three of the suspects managed to escape from the police custody during transport and are still free at the moment," said SANParks.

The remaining suspect appeared before the court and was identified as Absalom Manyike who was stationed at Satara and has been employed by SANParks since 2014. He will in due course undergo the internal disciplinary process of the organization.

Managing executive of the Kruger National Park, Glenn Phillips praised the Protection Services to be vigilant, but was disappointed that some of the suspects managed to escape the police custody.

"We are glad that we have removed a traitor from our ranks and will wait for the court to proceed.This should be a warning to all staff who help criminals, we will come after you and the result is that you you will lose your job and go to jail for a long period of time, "said Phillips.

The investigation is still ongoing and all attempts are being made to arrest the three escaped suspects.

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African news agency (ANA)

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