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Poaching syndicates in Namibia are changing tactics following a notable progress by law enforcement to combat poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.Police efforts and political will to fight the scourge of rhino and elephant poaching has been paying off dividends, after an increase in arrests of poachers and middlemen mostly Chinese nationals.
However, media reports indicate that poaching syndicates have now resorted to postal services to smuggle out mostly rhino horns to Asia.
Police Inspector General on Friday has confirmed to a local daily on Friday that syndicate was changing tactics and using different routes to smuggle out prohibited wildlife products.
Last Friday, a parcel containing 16 pieces of rhino horn was intercepted at Eros Airport in Windhoek. The parcel that was destined for Malaysia via Johannesburg was declared as coffee at the customs.
Earlier in March, another parcel containing 12 pieces of rhino horn weighing 6.6 kg and valued at US$1.3 million that passed through Namibian airport as coffee, was intercepted at Hong Kong International Airport.
This follows a similar case late last year, when three Chinese nationals were arrested at a checkpoint east of Windhoek on their way to Hosea Kutako International Airport, with several elephant tusks cut in small pieces and stuffed in coffee tins.
“We are still facing serious challenges with regard to poaching,” Ndeitunga is quoted as saying, while issuing a stern warning to courier services and other entities from aiding criminal activities.