By Victor Maphosa, The Herald
A Murehwa woman was recently arrested for illegally possessing 1 040 kilogrammes of ivory valued at US$176 000. Acting on a tip off, detectives searched the 42-year-old woman’s homestead and recovered the ivory wrapped in plastic bags.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the case, saying the police suspected the woman intended to smuggle the ivory to one of Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries. “On November 6, the police received information that the accused was in possession of ivory which she was keeping at her homestead and destined for smuggling outside the country,” he said.
“Pursuant to the information, the police went to the accused person’s homestead where a search was conducted. A total of 1 040 kg of ivory was recovered in the accused’s house, wrapped in polythene bags. The ivory is valued at US$176 800, 00.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the woman was arrested and investigations were still underway to ascertain the origin of the ivory. He urged members of the public to desist from poaching and the illegal dealing in ivory and related products.
“Accused was subsequently arrested as investigations into the case widen,” he said. “Members of the public are warned that poaching, illegal dealing in ivory and related products is a very serious offence and anyone caught on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted.”
Meanwhile, six men were recently arrested for poaching at Gosho Park where a rifle and other weapons used in the illegal activity were recovered.
The men were found packing game meat in plastic bags for sale.
Asst Comm Nyathi confirmed the arrest. “Detectives, acting on a tip off, visited one of the houses in Cherutombo, Marondera, where the meat was being sold,” he said. “The officers posed as potential buyers. Upon arrival, they found one Obleta Maruza Nyakupinda (33) and Honest Nyakupinda (34) in the process of cutting and packaging meat.
“These two were in possession of a kudu head and a zebra skin. They were immediately arrested by detectives and admitted to have killed the animals at Gosho Park.”