Scales of justice: trafficker gets harshest term ever for ...

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Scales of justice: trafficker gets harshest term ever for pangolin poaching

The South African, who was caught in a sting operation, will spend 10 years in the slammer

Senior reporter

A 10-year prison term handed down to a local pangolin poacher last week has made the record books as the harshest sentence ever handed down to anyone trading in the critically endangered animal.

Orateng Mekwe, a South African citizen, received the sentence for trading in pangolins, while his accomplice, Jealous Rungano, a Zimbabwean citizen, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and deportation after serving time.

The case dates back to 2019 when members of the Cullinan Stock Theft & Endangered Species Unit, assisted by other police and the Green Scorpions, and members of the African Pangolin Working Group conducted a sting operation in which a pangolin was offered for sale to an undercover agent...

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