67 elephant tusks, 14 rhino horns seized (Namibia)


Nuusita Ashipala, New Era

Date Published

The number of elephant tusks confiscated have increased by 10 from last year, bringing the total to 67 elephant tusks confiscated in the country so far this year.

Also thus far this year 14 rhino horns were confiscated. The number remained “static”, with 14 rhino horns also confiscated last year, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism PRO Romeo Muyunda revealed.

New Era could not determine the number of people arrested for anti-poaching activities in the country so far this year, at the time of going to print.

In the latest incident, two suspects arraigned for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition were granted bail of N$1 000 each in the Okahao Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The 40-year-old Uukongo Petrus and 32-year-old Hishindange Gideon were allegedly caught with a .303 rifle, R4 automatic rifle and 34 rounds of ammunition.

The two suspects are alleged to have been on their way to execute their plan on Saturday when the police ambushed them early morning at Onamatanga in Omusati Region.

According to information from the police, the rifles were going to be used to poach.
Head of operations of the police in Oshana, Deputy Commissioner Karel Theron said they caught the suspects with a .303 rifle wrapped in a piece of blanket, R4 automatic rifle wrapped up in a box, as well as 16 rounds of ammunition for the .303 and 18 rounds for the R4.

Both the rifle and ammunition were stored in green-striped suitcases.
The silver commander said the police were tipped off about the ammunition weeks back and were investigating where it was hidden.
“The team was tasked to get more details and yesterday we received information that the ammunition was hidden in Onamatanga,” said Theron.

The suspects are detained at the Okahao police station holding cells.
Theron said one of the suspects already has a poaching case against him.

He said investigations into the case are ongoing and that the origin of the R4 rifle also needs to be established during the course of the investigation

He appealed to informants to come forward with information.

“The identity of the informants will not be revealed,” he assured.
Four suspects were last week arraigned for three rhino horns confiscated 40 km west of Otavi.