Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit
Experts in Rural Security
Protrack has evolved from being solely an AntiPoaching Unit to the present day where highly specialised and diverse security services are offered. This progression is evident in all aspects and facets of the company. In the anti-poaching environment the very nature of this type of enforcement requires the highest level of observation and planning to successfully apprehend a suspect. This is as a result of the vast terrain covered by a few select individuals. In this environment chance encounters or successes as result of anticipated movements, are equally likely. It is this type of training which makes the security aspects offered by the company so successful and sought after. The basic principles are the same regardless of the type of security application and rely heavily on skills of observation, pro-activity, public relations and the ability to act appropriately under pressure and potentially dangerous situations. Classical law enforcement is shifting to where a higher reliance is placed on private security structures. For this reason a versatile and highly trained security force is paramount in providing stability and safety in our volatile society.

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Poachers arrested A Red Duiker such as the one pictured on the left is specially protected by law and was found in the possession of a poacher on the Graskop Road in the White River area. The poacher was arrested. This little antelope which rarely killing. Two poachers were arrested in the Hoedspruit West region; one of them is reportedly a known and long time wanted poacher, who has plagued the area for some time. Another was caught returning to claim this snared bushbuck, but on this occasion was simply unlucky. Looking carefully one can see the snare on the neck of one of the Spotted Hyenas. The other likely had a run-in with a predator such as a lion. They were photographed in the vicinity of a leopard kill, where an impala carcass was lodged in the fork of a tree. Dogs have been reported on certain reserves in the Hoedspruit area, some on their own and others in the company of poachers. These poachers are notoriously difficult to catch and this poaching method is highly successful. exceeds 12 kg was the unfortunate victim of this senseless

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Bravery Medals In the course of the year we had a number of incidences, where our staff members have risked their lives in the course of their duties. Two members were shot and are lucky to be alive today, more were shot at or were attacked physically with knives. Some have sustained serious injury whilst subduing suspects and everybody is aware of the risks they face in simply performing their duties. We have celebrated an event where one of our guards returned to work after a lengthy recovery period subsequent to being shot an whilst attempting robber to and apprehend armed

simultaneously honoured those who have lost their lives in the history of the company. As a token of our appreciation we awarded bravery medals to deserving employees for selfless bravery in the face of grave danger. Often the security guard is the first line of defence between the civilian and the criminal. In the eyes of the law, they have no more rights to defend themselves or exercise their duties, than those of any member of the public. We can only say Thank You!

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Rhino Poaching Counter Strike The media informs the general public of frequent rhino poaching incidents spanning the country. In practice many incidents are not reported as result of sensitivity of ongoing investigations or, because poaching in the private sector does not achieve the same media coverage as that in the larger reserves. This poachers. It appears as if there is a shift in modus operandi to target smaller rhino populations to escape more organised anti-poaching measures employed by the Parks Board structures and major conservation bodies. Rhino poaching is solely an act of greed and rhino are never targeted as a source of food despite the fact that parts of the carcass may be eaten. The fight against rhino poaching should not only be on the ground, but extend to the curbing of trade in rhino products. However a solid anti-poaching strategy must be employed to counter the escalating threat. The potential income stemming from this crime is notable and as result great resources and infrastructure are engaged in the facilitation of obtaining rhino horn. The dangers associated with confronting the poachers are real and potentially fatal. This therefore requires a highly trained and efficient team and strategy to counter the threat and in addition any anti poaching initiative should be equally organised, and be backed by experience, knowledge, support structures as well as armed and trained personnel. Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit has assembled such a task team from select veterans with considerable field experience and aptitude for handling compromising situations. These individuals have been hand picked based on their track records and in field successes. This team will be deployed to high risk zones as and when required to afflicted areas. is unfortunate, because the knowledge of these infiltrations alerts us to the whereabouts and actions of syndicate

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

The Rhino Task Force
A special task team has been assembled to address the challenge of rhino poaching. These individuals have been specifically selected according to their experience, aptitude and skills. The long awaited firearm licenses have finally arrived and this team is now armed with semi-automatic Mini-Ruger rifles for the necessary fire power required for the job. Each member in the squad has

distinguished themselves in the field and earned their position. Their combined skills include expertise in tracking and firearm handling under extreme pressure. They are adept in the use of dogs for tracking criminals, observation and stealth skills and the locating and apprehension of poachers. The team is backed which by is a solid infrastructure, support. Please contact us with any information at 015 – 7932585 providing

information, communication and backup

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Crime in the Festive Season The festive season is always prone to an increase in criminal transgressions for a number of reasons. These include the fact that often people that work away from home return on holidays. Criminals then take advantage of the fact that they may be less known in an area and are bound to leave again soon. This way they are more likely to avoid arrest. There is also the need to fund the year end parties or provide for the once off costs of the New Year such as school fees or new uniforms. Often the availability of money such as year end bonuses makes people the target of offences or the increased spending power during the holiday time becomes the proceeds of crime. This affects us all and affects the international image of South Africa as a world renowned tourist destination. Tourists are often naïve to local conditions and make easy targets for criminals. Violent crimes especially cause devastating destruction to South Africa as a desired holiday destination. The upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup will bring hoards of visitors to the country and accommodation will be high in demand. This could do wonders to our economy in these testing times and it would be a great pity if this event is marred by criminal tragedy, which could discourage future tourism. The South African Police Service has announced their commitment to create a crime free environment for this time and we wish them great success in this endeavour. We do however need to advise our visitors of the potential dangers they face and how to protect themselves from falling victim during their stay. We also hope that the influx of people won’t cause a feeding frenzy amongst the crime elements, which would affect everyone alike. We have compiled a short document on the dangers of hijacking, which may be common sense to us, but could prove of benefit to visitors.

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December 2008

Hijacking Hijacking can be defined as stealing a vehicle by using violent means. The Hijacker • • Often plans the hijacking in advance Monitors the potential victim’s movements before he strikes Lies in ambush for the victim of the hijacking Chooses its target by preselected makes and models of vehicles Chooses its target by vulnerability of location and escape routes Chooses time of day to successfully implement the hijacking Is potentially dangerous and may kill its victim


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Targeted Hijacking locations


Any location where the driver is forced to stop e.g. an entrance gate or a robot Areas that are not well lit Areas that offer good hiding spots such as dense bushes or trees Remote areas where security forces may take a long time to respond Situations where the driver is visibly lost Areas with weak security

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Avoid Being Hijacked • • • • • • Put yourself in the shoes of a hijacker to identify possible dangerous situations Be aware of popular targeted vehicles at that time in the relevant area If a situation appears suspicious keep on driving Do not get distracted before entering potentially compromising situations If you have a breakdown or flat tyre attempt to slowly drive to a service station Ensure that you have sufficient fuel in your vehicle to arrive at your destination Do not leave visible valuables in your vehicle and keep it locked Ensure nobody is hiding in your vehicle before you enter Do not give lifts to strangers Do not assist strangers, rather report incidents to the police When at an accident scene ensure that it is genuine before exiting vehicle Try to avoid driving alone especially after dark


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Keep doors locked and windows closed or only slightly open Keep some distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you Monitor all traffic and pedestrians around you for suspicious behaviour Be aware of anybody approaching your vehicle while stationery Do not tell strangers of your movements If you feel you are being followed drive to the nearest police station Where possible ensure ample lighting at your destination Do not leave your door open or the engine running while opening a gate Vary your routes to your regular destinations Avoid travelling to dangerous areas at night Plan your routes carefully to avoid getting lost or arriving late When going on holiday advise your host on estimated time of arrival When visiting people keep their contact number available Advise friends or family of your movements Avoid delays in instances where the entrance gate opens manually With remotely controlled gates ensure that it opens and closes quickly Allow some space between your vehicle and the gate Scan the area for suspicious individuals on arrival Consider reversing into the driveway this way you avoid being surprised from behind and have the time to make an escape before the gate closes



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What to do when being hijacked • • • • • • Remain calm Do not resist Avoid eye contact, this way the attacker feels you wont recognise him again Try to remember features of the hijacker that could identify him later Hand over anything requested from you Do not reach for anything without being told to do so Tell them what you are doing e.g. removing seatbelt or reaching for wallet When removing a safety belt or handing something over, do so with one hand Inform the hijacker if there is a child or pet in the vehicle Move slowly


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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

Do not go for help until it is safe to do so

What to do after you were hijacked • • Contact SAPS immediately Report any relevant information that may be helpful in solving the case Hijackings are traumatic consider getting counselling

Hijacked Vehicles This edition’s first prize is definitely the recovery of two hijacked vehicles in the White River area. On the one occasion a suspicious vehicle with four men in it, was reported exiting a plantation. This is the same location where the SAPS recovered a hijacked vehicle on the previous day. The vehicle described, was spotted on the road and after pulling it over the reaction team arrested the suspects inside. The vehicle was reported as stolen and one of the people of arrested was wanted in Masioy. On a previous occasion responding to information received about a stolen vehicle, two arrests were made and a firearm and a Toyota bakkie that was hijacked in the trust were recovered.

Congratulations The following staff members have been awarded medals for bravery in active duty: •

• • • • • • •

Teison Ndlozi Daniel William Campbell Fourie Velly Dlodlo Mavundza Killer Stephen Moila Damian Julian Trietsch Mniki Lunkile Puleng Lesios Dibakwane

Alexander Cross Bravery award Alexander Cross Bravery award Sivis Cross Bravery award Sivis Cross Bravery award Lawrence Cross Bravery award Lawrence Cross Bravery award Lawrence Cross Bravery award

In Conclusion Nature conservation cannot function effectively in isolation. The eco-tourism industry is diverse with many role players acting independently. Environmental crime however

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December 2008

affects the entire system. Armed with the proper knowledge and co-operation from all role players an effective conservation strategy could function successfully. In order for this to work the laws put in place by the government must be applied and upheld at all levels and enforced by the structures mandated to do so. We have attached a relevant document pertaining to a query raised in the National Assembly.

We wish all the friends of Protrack a joyous festive period and a prosperous new year

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter

December 2008

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

(For written reply) QUESTION NO. 1569 INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 27 of 2008 DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12 September 2008 Mr I F Julies (DA) to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism: (1) Whether laws and regulations governing the prosecution of suspected poachers who kill animals in (a) private nature reserves and (b) private conservancies are used to prosecute similar crimes in national parks; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what is the maximum fine an individual can receive for killing an animal illegally in a private nature reserve?

NW2317E

1569. (1)

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND

TOURISM ANSWERS: No. Poachers in National Parks are prosecuted in terms of the Regulations pertaining to Proper Administration of Special Nature Reserves, National Parks and World Heritage Sites, which were

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December 2008

promulgated under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act 57 of 2003) (NEMPAA). (a) Poachers in private nature reserves are currently charged

in terms of provincial ordinances. However, if these private nature reserves have formally been declared as nature reserves in terms of provincial legislation, poachers will in the near future be charged in terms of regulations currently being developed in terms of NEMPAA. These regulations involve nature reserves. (b) Private conservancies have no status in terms of NEMPAA

and poachers in these areas will therefore be charged in terms of provincial legislation only. (2)It is not possible to provide exact information on the maximum fine for poaching in private nature reserves, as it would depend on the maximum fine that is prescribed in terms of the relevant provincial ordinance. For example, certain provincial ordinances still prescribe a maximum fine of R1500 and/or 18 months imprisonment for first offenders, and R2000 and/or 24 months imprisonment for second offenders. Other provinces prescribe 4 years imprisonment, without prescribing a fine. These penalties increase to 10 years imprisonment when poaching involves specially protected game (normally elephant, white rhino and black rhino). Regardless of which provincial ordinance is involved, these fines should be read in conjunction with the Adjustment of Fines Act, 1991 (Act No 101 of 1991), where a fine of R20 000 is prescribed for every 1 year imprisonment prescribed by the provincial Act/Ordinance.

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