Three suspects were arrested after being found in possession of a pangolin in Rustenburg.
They are expected to appear in the Rustenburg magistrate’s court on Monday on a charge of possession of an endangered species.
An endangered species, the pangolin is one of the most trafficked animals in the world, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The WWF said pangolins were in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam. Their meat is considered a delicacy and pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine and folk remedies.
North West police spokesperson Lt-Col Amanda Funani said the suspects’ expected court appearance follows their arrest on Thursday after members of the provincial organised crime unit followed up on information about people who wanted to sell a pangolin at the Waterfall Mall in Rustenburg.
“According to information received, the police spotted a Silver Ford Figo vehicle with Gauteng Province registration numbers in the vicinity of the mall.
“The vehicle was approached for a search. Consequently, the pangolin worth R1.4m was found inside the vehicle,” Funani said.
She said the suspects, aged 32, 43 and 45, were arrested.
North West police commissioner Lt-Gen Sello Kwena applauded the unit for its success and members of the community for their valuable information which led to the arrests.