South African police seize $7 million in assets from suspected rhino poachers

Police in South Africa have confiscated nearly $7 million in assets from three suspected rhino poachers, two of whom are veterinarians.

The assets were seized from Dawie Groenewald, owner of a safari business, and veterinary surgeons Karel Toet and Manie Du Plessis. The men were in 2010 charged with 1,872 counts of racketeering in what police described as one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife crime cases.

South Africa, which is home to most of the world’s 21,000 rhinos, is facing a massive poaching crisis.

The country has seen a dramatic rise in poaching since 2008, with 448 of the endangered animals killed last year. The brutal killing of rhinos is fuelled by the soaring demand for their horns in China and particularly Vietnam — via

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