The recent raids and arrests in South Africa were a joint effort between SA National Parks, the National Prosecuting Authority, aviation authorities and Hawks. Hawks is the Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) unit that targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption and other serious crime referred to it by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS). Apparently, aviation authorities were involved due to the heavy use of helicopters by poachers who use them to quickly land near a located rhino, which they shoot with a standard firearm or a dart gun, cut off their horns and then leave to die. Numerous game ranches had reported to authorities seeing or hearing helicopters flying over their properties. According to authorities, Sariette Groenewald is owner of a Robinson R44 helicopter.
As this was written on September 21, Groenewald and the others were scheduled to appear in court in Musina, and more arrests were expected. In a press release issued the same day by The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), CEO Adri Kisthoff said the organization was supporting motions to oppose bail to all of those........(continued)