SA Cops Nab Vietnamese Found With Lion’s Teeth

A Vietnamese man has been arrested in a raid that found a huge quantity of lion teeth and claws, as well as processed animal products.

The suspect was nabbed on Thursday after a raid on properties in Bela-Bela, (Formerly Warmbaths), and Pretoria.

An unlicensed gun was also recovered.

Commenting on the arrest on Saturday, the forestry, fisheries, and environment department said the raid was carried out after a four-month investigation involving analysts and wildlife investigators.

The raid was carried out by an integrted team comprising the Green Scorpions, Limpopo economic development, environment, and tourism department, Gauteng agriculture and rural development department, SANParks, and the police.

Search and seizure warrants were executed simultaneously at a Vietnamese-owned farm near Bela-Bela in Limpopo and two storage units in Pretoria.

The joint investigation team seized 4.19kg of lion teeth, 680g of lion claws, and more than 60 kg of processed animal products believed to be lion gelatine.

An illegal firearm was also confiscated.

The Vietnamese national, who was arrested during the raid, appeared in the Bela-Bela Regional Court on Friday.

He faces charges of illegal possession of a threatened species in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.

The case has been postponed to 20 August 2021.