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poacher turned gamekeeper

A person whose job or role has completely changed, from one extreme to another. Primarily heard in UK. The notorious computer hacker who once stole money from unsuspecting Internet users now helps the government catch other hackers—it's a strange case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn

old poacher makes the best gamekeeper

Prov. The best person to guard something is someone who knows all about how to steal it, so he or she can anticipate what thieves might do. We should hire the computer hacker to design computer security systems. An old poacher makes the best gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, make, old, poacher

a poacher turned gamekeeper

someone whose job seems to involve working against the person who is now doing the job which they did before
Usage notes: A poacher illegally kills and steals animals on someone else's land, and a gamekeeper's job is to stop this from happening.
He used to be the the union rep but now he's in management - a case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
Patrols: Rob Taylor He added: "Previously poachers have been taking them for their antlers which are used as trophies and is unbelievably cruel.
An unidentified number of poachers were killed in the clashes, Rahman said, adding that the officers had seized five guns and three tiger skins at the scene, located about 200 kilometers away from the capital Dhaka, dpa reported.
Patrolling every part of the vast landscapes where rhinos live is effectively impossible, meaning poachers often operate with no risk of being caught.
Meanwhile, Evan arranges to meet a poacher who tells him what would happen if he came up against a warden: "You shoot that person to kill, don't hesitate.
Also, the Assam government and the Centre have claimed of tightening the noose around poachers but not a single of the 243 poachers arrested in the last five years has been convicted under Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
15 boats, 36 fishing rods and 720 fishing nets were seized from poachers as well.
The remote park is twice the size of South Africa's Kruger National Park and poachers have to hike for days to reach it.
Poachers kill elephants that are even a few months old.
As well as tracking down the poachers, they can seek out incriminating evidence discarded by the fleeing poachers that is needed to bring a successful prosecution.
They have to think twice now,'' Paul Mbugua, the spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service, said of poachers and the new law.
There was growing concern that cyanide was being increasingly used by poachers to kill elephants for their ivory.
The rhinos are only killed for their horns as they fetch hefty sums for the poachers, they said, adding that the poachers sell them in the Asian markets where buyers use them in medicines.
Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said:"A team of the Crime Branch under Deputy Commissioner of Police Bisham Singh has busted a gang of wildlife poachers and smugglers.
A newly developed government-financed litmus test will show within minutes whether meat samples seized from poachers are whale or dolphin meat, Council of Agriculture officials said.
Chinese nationals top the list of foreign poachers caught off the Philippines' western seaboard, committing the highest number of poaching activities since 1995, according to a government agency tasked to protect the area's wildlife and other natural resources.