Wildlife crime: 112 porcupine quills seized

By Rosalia David

BETWEEN 4 to 10 May, 112 porcupine quills, six elephant tusks, four rounds of ammunition and one kudu skin were seized according to the latest wildlife crime statistics compiled by the Intelligence and Investigation Unit within the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and Protected Resources Division within the Safety and Security Ministry.

The report indicates that three suspects were arrested and charged while two new cases were registered. The suspects arrested on charges of elephant poaching/trafficking are Angolans, Daniel Kambinda and Jobe Kambinda and Webby Mutoiwa Mangimba, whose nationality still needs to be confirmed.

Daniel Kambinda and Jobe Kambinda were charged for Contravening section 4 (1) (a) and (b) of Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act 9 of 2008, as amended Act 6 of 2017 after they were found in possession of six elephant tusks, one kudu skin and 112 porcupine quills.

Mangimba was charged for Contravening section 2 and 33 of Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 1996 after he was found with a shotgun and four rounds of ammunition.

Six suspects were also arrested and charged earlier this month and three new cases were registered at the end of April. A total of eight wildlife products were seized, including six elephant tusks and two leopard skins.

At Katima Mulilo, two men were arrested on 26 April and charged with contravening the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act. The two suspects, Pani Kavi and Mulita Kapingro, were reportedly found in possession of six elephant tusks.

Meanwhile, on 27 April two Namibian men were also arrested at Oshivelo in connection with an old case dating back to March for conspiring to poach a rhino. Earlier in the year, 13 suspects were arrested and charged for wildlife crimes between 17 and 23 February, while five new cases were registered for the same crime.

During the same time, nine cases of rhino poaching and trafficking were recorded, including cases of conspiracy to engage in rhino poaching, while two rhino horns and one rock monitor lizard were seized, along with five firearms, 58 rounds of ammunition and one vehicle.

On 15 February, Simeon Tulinane Nangolo (Namibian) was arrested on housebreaking and theft of rhino horns. Sylvanus Fimanekeinge Shikambe was arrested on 18 February on conspiracy to hunt specially protected game (rhino). He was charged with contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1996.

Three other Namibians, Festus Simon, Johannes Kefas Valombola and Efraim Thikameni Malakia were also arrested at Okahao, among other charges, for contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975, as amended related to the illegal hunting of specially protected game (rhino). The goods seized included two rhino horns, as two 303 hunting rifles, 30 rounds of ammunitions and one vehicle.

The cases registered and the arrests or seizures were made by a combination of law enforcement agencies and were reported in Windhoek, Okahandja, Okahao, Kahenge, Otjomuise, Outjo and Otjiwarongo.

The statistics also show that in January, eight suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and four new cases were registered. Official reports indicate that 10 wildlife products were seized, along with two firearms and 50 bullets last month. The wildlife products seized included four elephant tusks, a leopard skin, two crocodile skins, a slender mongoose skin and two hippo teeth.

On 30 December year, three Namibians were arrested at Okahandja for conspiracy to hunt a rhino. Kandje Max Ngumi, Kunouwa Tjambiru and Lubasi Mufaya were arrested with a hunting rifle and 31 bullets. They were charged for contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act and appeared in court on 31 December.

At Rundu, a Namibian and an Angolan national were arrested on 2 January for contravening the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act.

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