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Alleged key player in lion bone syndicate in court after handing himself over to police

A ninth suspect and alleged key player in an illegal international lion and tiger bone syndicate has handed himself over to police as investigations into an illegal North West lion and tiger slaughterhouse intensified on Tuesday.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso told News24 that Michael Frederich Fouche, 42, also known as Frikkie Fouche, was taken to the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court after handing himself over on Tuesday morning.

He joined his co-accused relative Johagem Louis Fouche, 22, Lourens Pretorious, 24, and Vietnamese nationals Nguyen Huu Son, 30, Nguyen Van Tuan, 33, Dao The Thanh, 38, Pham Van Khue, 56, Chanh, 56 and Cu Quoc Thang, 60, in the dock where they were charged under the Nemba Act (National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act) for the illegal possession of game products and carrying out restricted activities involving specimens of a listed, threatened or protected species.

Fouche is described as the person renting the Hartebeesfontein slaughterhouse property where 40 lions and a tiger were reportedly killed for their bones and other body parts at the weekend.

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