By Arlana Shikongo, The Namibian
Two men were arrested for being found in possession of 100 pieces of ivory, a summary of wildlife crime statistics from 30 September to 6 October details. The report was compiled by the ministry of environment’s intelligence and investigation unit, and the police’s protected resources division.
Environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda confirmed that the two suspects were found in possession of ivory pieces which they tried to sell to undercover detectives in Windhoek.
Rusuvero Tjaveondja (32) and Theopaldt Uaetuiihe (51) were arrested by the anti-poaching Blue Rhino task team on Thursday afternoon along Newcastle street in Windhoek’s northern industrial area. They appeared in court on Monday and their case was postponed to 6 February 2020. The suspects were not granted bail.
The value of the ivory could not be established and further investigations into the case are continuing. “Generally we are happy with the progress law enforcement officials are making in stopping wildlife crimes. This is one of many cases where wildlife products are seized and suspects arrested,” Muyunda said.
He also noted that this seizure is an indication that wildlife crime is increasingly becoming a risky activity. “It should be reiterated that those involved must stop or risk being caught and face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
The wildlife crime report detailed that a total of five new cases were registered last week, with 11 suspects arrested.
Two of those arrests were for rhino poaching and trafficking cases, while another two were for elephant poaching and trafficking cases. The remaining arrests were for possession of pangolin products.
Police also seized a total of six pangolin products during this time. One of those seizures involved a 37-year-old man who was arrested on Friday morning at Goreangab, Windhoek, when he was found in possession of a dead pangolin valued at N$50 000.
“Namibians are urged to work with the authorities to rout out these crimes that are robbing us of our natural resources,” Muyunda said.
None of the wildlife crime cases from 30 September to 6 October have been finalised.