Namibia: Seven men arrested for possession of 18 elephant tusks

Dec 12, 2023 | News

By Lugeretzia Kooper, The Namibian

Seven men arrested for illegal possession of 18 elephant tusks will remain in custody after their first appearance in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The suspects – one Namibian and six Zambian nationals – were arrested during an Intelligence-led joint operation at around 22h00 in the vicinity of the Kapani area of the Zambezi region on Wednesday.

It’s alleged that the suspects are part of the transnational syndicate using the Zambezi region as a transit route from Zambia to Botswana for poaching activities.

The suspects were coming back from Botswana when they were intercepted.

Besides the 18 elephant tusks, the police also seized one hunting rifle and 39 elephant tail bangles.

The suspects face additional charges of illegal possession of firearms and illegal entry into Namibia.

The suspects are Jimmy Mufalo (33), Mbwita Nawa (24), Benny Mbwita (30), Inambao Kwalela (27), Lumwalo Mutanizona (32), Muswanezi Mibonda (26) and Malaki Simataa (23).

Their matter has been postponed to 18 March 2024 for further investigations and to allow them to get legal representation.

They appeared before magistrate Davy Kambinda, while the state was represented by Bronah Mukoya.

Over the past three weeks, joint security cluster operations in the Zambezi region, specifically in the Kapani area, have led to the arrest of three suspects in two separate incidents for the illegal poaching of a combined 39 elephants suspected to have been poached in Botswana.

The latest arrest of the seven suspects has brought the total number of seized elephant tusks to 57.

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