South Africa’s rhino horn syndicate case involving game farmer Marnus Steyl, professional hunter Harry Claassens, and Thai nationals Chumlung Lemtongthai, Punpitak Chunchom, and Tool Sriton has been postponed.
Although the alleged syndicate’s legal team had hoped to get the case thrown out, the suspects will make another court appearance on November 5th.
Steyl and his associates are accused of using legal trophy hunts to launder rhino horns for the illegal market. Their scheme allegedly involved issuing hunting permits to Thai prostitutes, who posed as rhino hunters, as a way to obtain rhino horns for illegal markets in Vietnam and China.
The crew got away with at least 32 of these bogus trophy hunts before arrests were made.
Rhino death toll on the rise
Unfortunately, South Africa’s rhinos continue to be massacred at an alarming rate.
According to the latest information released by the government, at least 245 rhinos have been killed since the beginning of the year, and 161 people have been arrested for rhino crimes.
Rhino horn dealers arrested
In India, IBN Live reports that two rhino horn dealers were arrested and one rhino horn was confiscated.
The duo was nabbed near Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, thanks to a tip-off.
Sadly, at least seven rhinos have been killed in India this year. However, the latest census revealed that the country’s greater one-horned rhino population is increasing.
One year of ‘Rhino Crisis Round Ups’
Today’s article marks one year of the Rhino Crisis Round Up on Planetsave!
The first Round Up was published on June 17th, 2011 — read it here.
Rhishja is the founder of Annamiticus, a nonprofit organization which provides educational information and news about wildlife crime and endangered species. She is the Editor of the blogs Annamiticus, Rhino Horn is Not Medicine, and Project Pangolin, a Producer for the upcoming documentary "The Price", author of the book "Murder, Myths & Medicine", and host of the "Behind the Schemes" podcast. When Rhishja is not blogging about the illegal wildlife trade, she enjoys rocking out to live music.