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Investigators suspect Groenewald in Czech rhino horn syndicate

December 30, 2014

Czechs arrest 16 in sung te giac seizure enroute to Vietnam

By Mic Smith

Czech authorities have charged 16 alleged masterminds and hunters from an illegal rhino horn syndicate operating between South Africa, Czech Republic and Vietnam.

The syndicate is allegedly linked to controversial South African hunting outfitter Dawie Groenewald, 46, who is already facing charges in the US where he was indicted with his brother, Janneman Groenewald, 44, in October for selling illegal rhino hunts by misleading American hunters from 2005- 2010.

According to a December 18 report in The Times in South Africa, the investigators in Czech Republic believe that the Czech hunters facing charges  “shot rhino on Groenewald’s Limpopo farm, Prachtig, and signed the rights to the “trophies” over to the syndicate”.

“These were not rhino trophy-hunting trips for the sport. They were cold-blooded executions,” The Times quoted an investigator as saying.

“They wanted to sell the horns on the black market in Vietnam, where their price far exceeds the costs of rhino hunting.”

Authorities said the rhino horns were being shipped in crates with African CITES stamps and freight forwarding papers to Vietnam with insurance valuations of a tiny $50 per horn, which alerted suspicions of Czech authorities.

Dawie Groenewald who has not been charged in relation to the Czech bust, commented on December 17, “I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know about horn seizures or arrests.”


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