Prostitutes 'legally' hunts Rhinos????
Well, well, well.
If one illegal Thai businessman can have 26 rhinos legally shot, and then claim that some other illegal prostitutes -who acknowledge that they cannot shoot- are the hunters, then this rhino hunting problem is bigger than the rhino poaching problem!
For 26 legal rhino hunts, a lot of legal people,organizations and paperwork will have to be involved [eg. Cov officials, PH, land owners, dep of conservation, outfitters etc. etc.] And NOBODY smelled a rat when prostitutes stood over the dead animals posing with a rifle, claiming to be the hunter on the official documentation? At least the PH or outfitter on the spot could detect something is not as it should be? [It happened with 26 permits of this one syndicate!]
This cast a dark shadow over some roll player down the chain of the hunting industry as well as some procedures in obtaining a legal rhino hunting license. We have enough challenges with the poachers, that we do not need this type of thing putting the majority of the good, honest and trustworthy officials, PH etc. under suspicion.
Whistle blowing in the hunting industry are becoming a MUST to keep it ethical and sustainable for all concerned- [hunters and animals!]
Thai Man Behind Bars over Rhino Poaching by using prostitutes!
A court has for the first time heard about the alleged inner workings of a syndicate, suspected of using prostitutes to pose as trophy hunters when Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai was denied bail by the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court last week.
The court found he had no links to South Africa and was a flight risk.
He is suspected of being the syndicate's kingpin, who organised deals worth millions of rands.
In opposing bail the state called a Sars official, Lindsay Moodley, who testified the 26 transactions listed in the charge sheet are worth more than R8 million.
He said he interviewed a Thai woman who was paid by the syndicate to make the trade in rhino horn look like a legal hunt.
"She confirmed she was paid on both occasions R5 000 for a passport to be used to obtain a permit," he said.
He added that the woman is a potential witness.
"She also indicated that she cannot shoot. She further confirmed that she was called to the dead rhino, was given a rifle and was asked to pose next to it."
Lemtongthai maintains he is innocent.
Earlier the magistrate ruled in favour of the defence team. The court placed the onus on prosecutor Allen Simpson to prove that Lemtongthai should remain behind bars.
Veteran investigator PW van Heerden was then called to oppose bail. He argued that the accused is in South Africa illegally and will likely commit more crimes.
But the defence team argued that the state's case is weak and offered R100,000 as surety that Lemtongthai will stand trial.