22 rhinos poached this year
A total of 19 suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes last week and five new cases were registered.
Four suspects were arrested in connection with rhino poaching or trafficking, while eight illegal wildlife products were seized.
This is according to information provided by the intelligence and investigation unit within the environment ministry and the protected resource unit within the safety and security ministry.
This year a total of 22 rhinos and two elephants have been poached. During the same period last year, poachers killed 46 rhinos and 13 elephants.
In 2018, a total of 78 rhinos and 27 elephants were poached.
Population still healthy
“Even though our rhino population is still healthy, it is true we may end up with no rhinos at one point if they continue to be poached. We must recognise and appreciate the work our anti-poaching unit is doing in arresting rhino poaching suspects as well as the staff for securing national parks,” said environment ministry spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda.
He added that while the number of poached rhino and elephants has significantly decreased annually, more still needs to be done.
“It is therefore up to all of us to do what we can in the framework of the law in our various capacities to rid the country of this evil.”
On 7 September, two Namibian men were arrested at Ndiyona in the Kavango East Region for being in possession of an eland carcass. Murauli Hamutenya and Mungamba Venatius were charged with contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance.
At Omitara, Elifas Mashuna was arrested on 7 September in connection with an old case regarding the illegal hunt of a rhino. The case dates back to August last year and he was charged for contravening the Nature Conservation Ordnance.
A Zambian national and a Namibian were arrested at Katima Mulilo on 9 September for being in possession of a warthog carcass. Nyambe Kanyebu and Tubakwasa Matota were both charged for contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance.
In another incident at Oshifo in Omusati, three Namibian men and an Angolan national were arrested on 9 September for being in possession of four pangolin skins and a genet skin. Tyitokota Kalekela, Sam Mulilo, John Mulele and Nalimanguluke Kalimbo were all charged with contravening the Controlled Wildlife products and Trade Act.
Firearms, ammunition seized
Meanwhile at Kamanjab, a Namibian and an Angolan were arrested on 10 September for conspiring to hunt a rhino. The following day, another Namibian man was arrested in connection with the case. Pentecosta Ruhozu, Joaqui Markulinus and Ebson Karipindikirue were charged with contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act, defeating the course of justice and contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act. A hunting rifle and 11 rounds of ammunition were confiscated.
At Onaanda in Omusati, seven Namibian suspects were arrested for being in possession of a steenbok carcass. A vehicle, shotgun and 17 rounds of ammunition were also confiscated.
The suspects are Frans Shigwedha, Teofelus Amadhila, Wilbard Hendrik, Johannes Jacobus, Adolf Imalwa, Andreas Jacobus and Levi Levi. They were all charged with contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance, the Arms and Ammunition Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the Riotous Assemblies Act and regulations of stage three of the coronavirus state of emergency.