Six men arrested while allegedly searching for a buyer for elephant tusks at King Shaka International Airport in Durban are expected to appear in court on Monday.
The men, aged between 27 and 40 years, were arrested on Thursday by a Hawks serious organised crime investigation team in Durban for possession of elephant tusks and contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.
Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said an intelligence-driven operation was conducted at the airport, acting on information about suspects with elephant tusks.
He said three men were intercepted while driving into the airport and a search was conducted.
“Two elephant tusks were found inside their vehicle and they were immediately arrested after they failed to provide the reason for them possessing parts of endangered species. The recovered tusks weighed 8.1kg and have an estimated street value of R200,000,” said Mogale.
Mogale said the investigation led police to a lodge in Durban North where three more men were arrested.
“Their vehicle was seized for further investigation. It was further discovered that the suspects were in Durban searching for a buyer of the tusks,” he said.