The department of environmental affairs' training programme for Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs) is already paying dividends, with the Gauteng EMIs arresting six people for green crimes in Gauteng in the last week of June.
The Independent Online reports that 400 ivory ornaments and 14 boxes containing more than 800 plants were seized in Sunninghill and the Johannesburg International airport respectively.
The ivory is believed to be illegally imported from Zimbabwe, while the plants are protected in Namibia, where they were illegally imported from.
The EMI or 'Green Scorpion' team that apprehended the criminals have completed their training to become environmental inspectors, and will receive their official designation this month in the wake of their crime-fighting activities.
The Gauteng department of agriculture, conservation and environment said, "We consider these breakthroughs as symbolic of successes expected from the Environmental Management Inspectorate, the so-called Green Scorpions."