By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor
In the Republic of South Africa (RSA), notorious safari operator Dawie Groenewald and his brother Janneman Groenewald were arrested on June 22, 2017, this time to facilitate their extradition to the US on charges of wildlife crimes and money laundering. Interpol executed an international warrant against the brothers, both of whom were arrested in Polokwane, Limpopo. They are currently out on bail.
The warrant stems from a 2014 indictment against the Groenewalds from the US Attorney's office for the Middle District of Alabama, which was covered in The Hunting Report
(see Article 3438
). The indictment includes 18 charges of Lacey Act violations, wildlife crimes, fraud and money laundering stemming from illegal hunts between 2005 and 2010, which included taking American hunters on rhino hunts through their former operation, Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, with claims that the hunt was a legal "problem rhino" hunt. Hunters paid a reduced price for the hunt, believing the horns were not exportable. Allegedly, the Groenewalds would then sell the horns on the black market. The Department of Justice says they used a US bank account to launder the funds. The Groenewalds and other alleged accomplices, including their wives and two veterinarians, became known in South Africa as the Musina Mafia for alleged activities in illegal trafficking of rhino horns.
In South Africa, the group's legal efforts have helped them avoid prosecution with numerous trial postponements. Domestically, they collectively face nearly 2,000 counts of racketeering, assault, fraud, corruption, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, plus the illegal trade of rhino horns....