In a striking development, American national Derek Lewitton was arrested by the Hawks, South Africa’s elite police unit, following the unearthing of 26 unreported rhino carcasses on his game farm near Gravelotte, Limpopo. The arrest, which occurred shortly before midnight last Friday, came as the culmination of a 16-hour intensive investigation at the Harmony game farm.
Unearthing the Illegal Trade
Upon their investigation, the Hawks uncovered 10 unmarked rhino horns stashed away in a safe within the main farmhouse. These horns lacked the crucial documentation required by law, further implicating Lewitton in the illegal trade of rhino horns. Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Hulani Mashaba, confirmed these findings, thereby consolidating the case against Lewitton.
Shedding Light on a Dark Trade
This incident throws a harsh spotlight on the serious issue of illegal rhino horn trading, a contentious and fiercely debated subject globally. Lewitton, a controversial figure in this arena, has now become a symbol of the dark underbelly of this trade.
Cracking Down on Crime
The arrest was part of a larger, multi-disciplinary crime-fighting operation in South Africa that resulted in the arrest of more than 835 suspects for various serious crimes, including rhino poaching. The operation, involving multiple law enforcement agencies, led to a significant decline in various categories of crime and the confiscation of illegal items, drugs, and endangered species. The arrested individuals are set to face court appearances in due course.
The arrest of Lewitton and the subsequent findings on his game farm serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for increased vigilance and stricter regulations to preserve our endangered species and uphold the law.
Original source: https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/looked-like-a-slaughterhouse-hawks-arrest-us-man-after-finding-rhino-carcasses-horns-on-his-farm-20231227