Cop, soldier among 14 arrested for wildlife crimes

11 June 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The environment ministry has condemned the involvement of law enforcement officers in wildlife crimes after a police officer and a member of the Namibian Defence Force were arrested for the possession of rhino horns last week.

Four rhinos and one elephant have been poached this year to date.

The four rhinos are all white rhinos poached on private farms while the elephant was poached in a conservancy in the Otjozondjupa Region, says Romeo Muyunda, spokesperson of the environment ministry.

Four suspects, including a police officer and a member of the NDF, were arrested on 6 June after they were found in possession of two rhino horns concealed in 10-kg flour bags.

The suspects are 34-year-old police officer Nuunyango Anooshike and 43-year-old NDF member Iiyambo Lisias.

The other two suspects are Kamati Ndiinekela, 43, and 47-year-old Mavula Paulus.

In total 14 suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes last week.

Lion carcass

A Namibian, Jason Iniko, was arrested on 2 June at Okahao for being in possession of a lion carcass. A hunting rifle was confiscated. He was charged with illegal hunting of protected game, killing of game or wild animals without a permit and transporting of game or game meat without a permit. He was also charged with illegal possession of arms and ammunition.

In a separate incident at Mukwe, another Namibian, Johannes Nyangana, 53, was arrested on 2 June for being in the possession of two elephant tusks without a permit. He was charged with the illegal possession of and dealing in controlled wildlife products. He appeared before the Mukwe periodical court on 7 June and remains in custody.

In another incident, a police operation conducted on 2 June at Amarika Village in the Omusati Region led to the arrest of three suspects found in possession of a hunting rifle and 20 rounds of ammunition.

The suspects are 24-year-old Johannes Valombola Kefas, 29-year-old Gustav Tukaleni and 28-year-old Ruben David Nuuyoma. They are all Namibians and were charged with illegal possession of firearms and conspiracy to hunt a rhino.

Two of the suspects were arrested in 2020 on similar charges and were out on bail. Kefas was previously arrested for possession of a pair of rhino horns while Nuuyoma was charged with conspiracy to hunt a rhino. All three suspects appeared before the Okahao Magistrate’s Court and remain in custody.

Ivory

On 4 June, two Namibians were arrested at Okahao for being in possession of two elephant tusks and a live pangolin.

Kamesho Mathias Kamanya and Werner Siwogedi Makushe were charged with illegal possession of and dealing in controlled wildlife products. They appeared before the Rundu Magistrate’s Court on 7 June.

A suspect was arrested in Windhoek on 6 June for being in possession of a giraffe skin, which he offered for sale without a permit. The suspect is 49-year-old Mateus Iileka, a Namibian. He appeared before the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court this week.

Furthermore, two suspects were arrested at Otjiwarongo after they were found with a pangolin skin which they offered for sale without a permit. The suspects are 30-year-old Elias Elias and 31-year-old Nekaki Petrus. They are both Namibians and appeared in court this week.