Eight suspected rhino poachers arrested

Martin Endjala

The Ministry of Environment Tourism and Forestry has arrested eight suspects on charges related to rhino poaching over the Easter long weekend, in two separate incidents.

“Last week two suspects that illegally entered the Etosha National Park to hunt Rhinos were arrested during a mobile roadblock on the Tsumeb and Otavi road, two fresh rhino horns were found in their possession and confiscated by Blue Rhino Task Team,” the environment Ministry’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda said in a statement.

A Namibian male by the name of Sakaria Johannes and Tomas Domingos an Angolan male, appeared in court this week Tuesday, where they were denied bail while their case was postponed to 7 July 2023.

“Further investigations into this case, led to the discovery of fresh carcasses in the Etosha National Park, where investigators also recovered a .375-calibre rifle, a silencer and 29 live rounds of ammunition,” Muyunda said.

In addition, two old carcasses believed to have been poached were also discovered in the Etosha National Park. There is currently no indication linking the two old carcasses to the two suspects.

In another incident reported last week, two suspects were arrested after they were found in possession of one pair of rhino horns in yet another operation by security forces on the Outjo and Otavi road.

Further investigations into this matter led to the arrest of six anti-poaching security personnel on a private farm in the Outjo District who are suspected to have supplied the horns.

The suspects were identified as David Nakare; Makanga Johaness; Matema Thiyemo; Shampampi Ndjunga Kamanya Joseph Kandjimi and a female suspect Magdalena Mavandje Mukuve. All of them are Namibians.

“The work of the law enforcement agencies involved in these arrests is commendable and worthy of praise,” Muyuunda said.

He encouraged law enforcement agencies to continue in the same spirit to ensure that those plundering the country’s resources for their selfish gain are brought to face justice.

Muyunda called on the public to reject and condemn poaching in society by reporting suspected incidences to the Namibian Police or the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.

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