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8 men arrested after dozens of lions killed in North West

A joint task force police operation pounced on an illegal Vietnamese lion and tiger bone syndicate operating in the North West at the weekend, after at least 40 lions were reportedly killed at a lion farm near Klerksdorp.

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, six foreign nationals and two South African men were nabbed in the multi-disciplinary operation conducted by members of the Potchefstroom Crime Intelligence unit, the Hawks and the Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp flying squads units.

Police moved to arrest the suspects after keeping a close watch on activities at a farm near Hartbeesfontein, on the N12 between Klerksdorp and Wolmaransstad.

It’s alleged at least 30 lions were killed at the farm on Saturday, while 10 more lions were killed on Friday.

The suspects were intercepted while driving in a convoy from the N12 farm to an unused farm in Mareetsane. After searching a white Toyota Hilux bakkie, a silver Toyota Lexus sport utility vehicle and a trailer officers recovered lion bones, lion meat, a tiger skin, gas cylinders, gas burners, containers, a saw, knives and other equipment believed to have been used to process the lion bones.

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