Maputo — Three members of the Mozambican police force (PRM) have been detained in Magude district, in Maputo province, over their alleged involvement in rhinoceros poaching. They also face charges of providing illegal weapons for hunting large animals.
Police arrested seven other people, including four members of the forestry inspection team for Massitundo, which is in the administrative post of Mapulanguene.
A spokesperson for the Maputo provincial police command, Emidio Mabunda, said that a traditional healer was also detained.
Rhino poaching takes place in South Africa as the species is close to extinction in Mozambique.
According to data released on 18 July by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, 488 rhinos have been killed illegally in 2013.
Three hundred of these were from the Kruger National Park. There have been 165 arrests in South Africa so far this year.
Figures published in February show that between 2008 and the beginning of that month, South African forces killed 279 Mozambicans involved in rhino poaching. A further 300 Mozambicans were arrested for poaching between 2008 and the end of 2012. Some of the Mozambicans killed or detained have turned out to be members of the Frontier Guard or of the armed forces.