- fired police officer
- car smuggler
- money launderer
- rhino poacher
- banned from the US for illegally selling leopard skin
- banned from hunting in Zimbabwe
This piece of work was arrested in 2010, along with eleven conspirators including his wife, two veterinarians, and professional hunters; in one of the largest poaching ring busts in South Africa.
The group is believed to have killed hundreds of rhinos for horn trade, selling at least 384 horns over a 4 year period. In a 700 page indictment, the state’s case includes over 1800 charges of racketeering, illegal hunting, rhino poaching and fraud against Groenewald. The prosecution also has a lengthy list of 200 witnesses set to testify against him.
Groenewald owns a big game ranch in South Africa as well as Out Of Africa Safaris. In 2010 a mass graveyard of hornless rhinos was found on his property. (After de-horning them, he slaughtered them in order to “eliminate any upkeep costs associated with live rhinos.”)
In Julian Rademeyer’s book Killing for Profit, Groenewald stated
‘It’s a good business,’. ‘I feel so fucking angry about the system that I want to shoot as many rhinos as I can get,’ . ‘And that’s not right.’
He blames the ‘system’ for the killing. ‘I don’t enjoy killing rhinos … but I’m killing them because of the system. We are forced to shoot them because that is the only way the trophies can be sold and exported. You have to kill the animal to sell its horns.’
After several postponements, the court date of 21 Jul, was yet another delay. The new trial date is set for August of 2015.
With the blood of hundreds of rhinos on their hands, the “Groenewald Gang” as they have been referred to, remains out on bail.