By Ellanie Smit, The Namibian Sun
Six suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes recently and three new cases were opened.
This is according to statistics provided by the intelligence and investigation unit within the environment ministry and the protected resources unit in the safety and security ministry.
Of the six suspects, three were arrested in connection with rhino poaching and/or trafficking, while one was arrested for elephant poaching and/or trafficking.
All the arrested suspects are Namibians.
A total of seven wildlife products were seized during operations. These include four elephant tusks, two mountain zebras and one live tortoise. At Kamanjab, a man was arrested on 21 February for contravention of the nature conservation ordinance. Two mountain zebras were seized from Grecarius Skrywer.
In another case on 23 February at Otjomuise, Uaripi Sakaria was arrested for being in the possession of four elephant tusk pieces and was charged for contravening the Controlled Wildlife and Products Trade Act.
Meanwhile on 24 February, Immanuel Onesmus was arrested for being in possession of a live tortoise.
In a separate case, two men were arrested on 28 February at Okahao in connection with the illegal hunting of rhino.
The case was already reported on last week when three other suspects were arrested on 18 February for being in the possession of two rhino horns, while two hunting rifles, 30 rounds of ammunition and a vehicle were seized.
The three suspects who were arrested, Festus Simon, Johannes Kefas Valombola and Efriam Thikameni Malakia, were charged for contravening the nature conservation ordinance and illegally hunting a rhino, trespassing in a game park, being in possession of a firearm without a licence and the unauthorised supply of arms or ammunition.
The two other suspects who were arrested last week, Sameul Matati and Vaino Ningeni Kalola, were therefore added to the case and face the same charges.
At the same time, Kalola was also arrested for an old case at Okahao that dates back to last February (conspiracy to hunt a rhino and contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act).
Joseph Shatipamba was arrested at Omuthiya on 29 February for conspiracy to hunt a rhino. This is also an old case dating back to last October.