Owner Of Traditional Medicine Shop Apprehended Following Discovery Of Fox Skins & Elephant Foot For Ritual Use

Owner Of Traditional Medicine Shop Apprehended Following Discovery Of Fox Skins & Elephant Foot For Ritual Use

The proprietor of a traditional medicine store in Cape Town has been apprehended following a comprehensive four-month operation, during which law enforcement seized a range of illicit fauna and flora items.

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The individual is slated to make a court appearance at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in the near future.

Captain Frederick van Wyk, spokesperson for the Western Cape police, disclosed that the Environmental Crime Investigation (ECI) unit in Cape Town, in collaboration with Sanpark Environmental Crime Investigation, SAPS’s Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit from Kuilsrivier, and Cape Nature Officials, targeted the identified shop on December 4, 2023.

The operation was prompted by the shop’s involvement in acquiring bark and other materials from illegal suppliers for muti purposes, particularly addressing the unlawful stripping of bark from protected tree species in Table Mountain National Park.

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Van Wyk detailed the clandestine operation’s success, culminating in the arrest of the shop owner and the confiscation of various illegal fauna and flora products. A criminal case docket has been filed against the store owner, who faces charges related to the possession of wild animal carcasses without a permit and possession of flora without a permitLaw enforcement seized a total of 29 bags of tree bark, one elephant foot, several fox skins, and one otter skin during the operation. The exact value of these confiscated items is yet to be determined, and the investigation is ongoing. Van Wyk emphasized that similar operations are planned for other establishments, with the prospect of additional arrests.

Upon being formally charged, the accused individual will appear in court to address the specified charges. Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile commended the integrated forces for their outstanding investigation, acknowledging the efforts of the SAPS Stock Theft and Endangered Species team from Kuilsrivier for their collaboration with Sanparks Environmental Crime Investigation during the inquiry.

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