Forestry officials confiscate planks

Staff Writer

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has confiscated 75 planks processed from tree trunks that were buried on a farm in Kavango West Region.

All 75 planks were confiscated and transported to Mururani.

“Officials responsible for the two Kavango regions on 15 July 2022 discovered 75 planks buried on farm unit no.1902 after a tip off from the public. The planks are believed to have been illegally harvested from farm no 1903. Both farms are in Ncamagoro constituency in the Kavango West Region,” said the ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.

It is alleged that the planks processed from illegally harvested trees that were transported and buried in a kraal on farm 1902 were harvested without the consent and knowledge of the farm owner.

Munyunda said the operation was conducted by the ministry’s forestry officials with the assistance of the Namibian Police.

“For now, no arrests have been made or fines issued. We have however in our possession the names of suspected people involved in this illegal activity,” he said.

In another incident, on Saturday 16 July 2022, two male suspects, a Chinese national and a Namibian, were arrested in Okahandja after they were allegedly found in possession of protected plant species.

The plant species included four Adenia pechuellii (elephant foot) plants, 15 Cyphostema plants, 8 Commphoras plants, five plastics containing Welwitchia seeds and 12 plastics with different unidentified seeds.

According to Muyunda the arrests came after it followed up on a video. “Ministry officials followed up on a video in which the two suspects were seen collecting protected plants reportedly in the area of Usakos. A team was dispatched immediately to investigate the incident. Preliminary investigations in the area confirmed the incident,” said Muyunda.

The suspects were arrested by Blue Rhino Task Team (BRTT) at a flat in Okahandja after ministry officials who were on their way back to Windhoek came across them.

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