The United States of America appeals from two orders of the United States District Courtfor the Southern District of New York whichdenied its applications for a restitution award in favor of the Republic of South Africa, pursuant to, first, the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA),and second, the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982(VWPA). The Appeals Court ruled that South Africa: (1) has a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters, and (2) is a victim, as defined by the MVRA and VWPA, eligible to receive restitution. Accordingly, the Appeals Court said, "restitution is owed to South Africa."
The case involves the fact that from 1987 to 2001, Arnold Bengis, Jeffrey Noll and David Bengis (defendants) engaged in an elaborate scheme to illegally harvest large quantities of South Coast and West Coast rock lobsters in South African waters for export to the United States in violation of both South African and U.S. law. The district court heldthat South Africa had no property interest in either the lobsters that the defendants took from South African waters; that the governmentfailed to prove that the illegally harvested lobsters were the property of South Africa; and finally thateven if restitution was permissible as a matter of law, "the complication and prolonging of the sentencing process resulting from the fashioning of the order of restitution under this section would outweigh the need to provide restitution to the Republic of South Africa."
The Appeals Court reversed and remanded the district court orders and said, "?we hold that South Africa: (1) has a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters, (2) is a victim for restitution purposes, as defined by the MVRA and VWPA, and (3) whatever the complexity in fashioning a restitution order in this case, it is insufficient to preclude entry of suchan order under the MVRA. Accordingly, the judgments of the district court are vacated and the case is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
On 14/03/2012 at 17:00 hours while on patrol at Rubanda area within SENAPA, they received information from a secret informant that, there was a person in the village (Machengere) selling wild animal’s meat. They were directed where to find that person, he was caught drying dik-dik’s meat. They arrested him and took him to Mugumu Police station. The case lasted for two years from the date it was instituted to the date of the judgment. The accused was convicted.
On 27/11/2012, the four accused person were arrested in Robo area within SENAPA in possession of weapons and government trophies, namely: two bows, 38 arrows, three knives, and five trapping wires, 10 pieces of wildebeest dry meat and two tails of wildebeest. The case was dismissed under section 225(%) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
On 10/09/2010 at 13:00 hours the SENAPA park rangers while on patrol at Sonzo area within the national park. They saw carnivore birds roaming around a certain tree, when they made follow-ups they found wires set across the trees to trap animals. They then abruptly saw three men running away, they succeeded in arresting two of them. They were caught also in possession of one knife, one spear and three animal trapping wires, also with one piece of dry meat and one piece of dry skin of wildebeest. The accused were convicted on the first and second counts and acquitted on the third count.
On 08/10/2010 at 15:00 while SENAPA park rangers were on patrol at Sonzo area within the park, they saw a people hidden in the bush, they surrounded them and managed to arrest one of them, he was in possession of one machete, 3 animal trapping wires, one dry skin of reedbuck, one dry skin of impala and three pieces dry meat of wildebeests. He was then taken to Mugumu police station. The case lasted for three years from the date it was instituted to the date of the judgment. The accused was found guilty and convicted on all the three counts.
On 17/05/2010 at 17:00 hours when SENAPA park rangers were on patrol at Borongoja area within SENAPA, they heard voices of people talking in the bush, they surrounded the bush and found three people seated under a tree in possession of local weapons namely, one panga, one knife, one machete, one bow, eight arrows and six snares, and two pieces of impala dry meat. They were asked whether they had permit, they admitted to have no permit they were then arrested and taken to Kleins rangers post then to Mugumu police station. The accused persons were found guilty and convicted.
On 5/07/2013, the dwelling house of the accused was searched upon information given to the police, she was found in possession of 16 pieces of dry meat of the wildebeest and 8 pieces of dry meat of zebra. She was arrested and taken to Mugumu police station. The case was withdrawn under section 98(8) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
On 27/07/2013, the two accused were caught around korongo la Tinitin area within SENAPA, they were in possession of one machete and one impala. They were arrested and taken to Mugumu Police station. The charges were withdrawn under section 98(9) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
On 05/10/2010 at 18:00 hours SENAPA park rangers while at river Ntami area within SENAPA, they saw people hidden in the bush, they surrounded the bush and arrested both of them and found them having one piece of dry meat of the wildebeest. They were asked if they had permits one had, the other did not have. They were arrested, taken to the park rangers then to Mugumu Police station on the following day. The accused persons were found not guilty and were acquitted.