Scorpions pounce on illegal lion bone smuggling

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has congratulated the Green Scorpions for the arrest of three suspects in connection with lion bone smuggling.

The success of the joint operation once again confirms that the sharing of information and collaboration between the different law enforcement entities is key in South Africa’s fight against wildlife crime, she said.

Members of the Green Scorpions stationed at O R Tambo International Airport cargo terminal on Tuesday stopped the illegal export of lion bones from South Africa.

Environmental Management Inspectors were alerted to the suspicious shipment on 1 October after it was discovered that there was no booking for the shipment of the lion bones.

Three members of the Green Scorpions were joined by a member of the police’s crime intelligence unit.

According to the transportation document, the shipment had been mis-declared.

When the shipment was inspected, 12 boxes of lion bones wrapped in aluminum foil and weighing 342kg were discovered.

During a follow-up operation including members of the Hawks, Ekurhuleni Metro Police, Police Crime Intelligence and the Green Scorpions, a person was arrested in Kempton Park and taken to the OR Tambo International Airport police station for questioning.

Investigations are ongoing.

Source: South African Government News Agency