Poaching syndicate fights for bail

04 October 2019 | Justice

While two suspects in a multimillion-dollar rhino-horn theft case were released on bail this week, an alleged poaching kingpin was denied permission to appeal against the refusal of his bail application.

Petrus Shihepo Shimuningeni has been fingered as the mastermind behind a poaching syndicate which targeted a private game farm near Etosha National Park in the Kunene Region, where at least 13 rhinos have been poached this year.

The same farm owner, who is licensed by the government to keep horns removed from living rhinos, was also the target of gang of thieves in August this year. They stole 34 rhino horns, valued at an estimated N$100 million, which he had kept at a second farm near Outjo. The horns were from rhinos which he had dehorned in an attempt to protect them from poachers.

The farm owner discovered on 11 August that the farmhouse had been broken into during his absence. Besides the 34 rhino horns, the burglars got away with three firearms, cash and jewellery.

Five suspects in the theft case were arrested. On Tuesday this week, Herman Paulus Pendapala and Petrus Ipinge were granted bail of N$30 000 each by the Windhoek High Court.

The head of the Blue Rhino task team, Deputy Commissioner­ Barry de Klerk, has indicated that the State will appeal against the court's decision to grant them bail. Also on Tuesday, the High Court denied alleged poaching kingpin Shimuningeni's application to appeal against the Outjo District Court's refusal to grant him bail.

Shimuningeni was arrested on 10 February. He was charged with the illegal hunting of a white rhino cow and a black rhino bull at the private game farm near Etosha National Park in December.

The white rhino was valued at more than N$500 000 and the black rhino at N$800 000. Shimuningeni allegedly sold the rhino horns for N$7 000.

Shimuningeni allegedly also financed and provided four co-accused with transport and weapons between 20 and 30 December 2018.

Shimuningeni owns a restaurant, bar, mini-market and overnight facilities between Ondangwa and Ongwediva in the Oshana Region.

In support of his appeal, Shimuningeni claimed that he had been in Swakopmund between 20 and 30 December 2018 and nowhere near the farm where the two rhinos were poached.

He also claimed that he did not know the other accused, George Nangene, Penteconsta Ruhuzu, Nghinomenwa Hangula and Dimbulukeni Tileinge.

Shimuningeni said there was no evidence that he had transferred money to one of the co-accused as alleged by the State.

He also claimed that one of his co-accused had incriminated him during the bail hearing because he had been tortured by the police and forced to make a false statement.

His application to be granted bail of N$5 000 was refused by Acting Judge Eileen Rakow on the grounds that police investigator Daniel Katipi had presented convincing evidence that Shimuningeni had played a leading role in the smuggling of rhino horns. Katipi had testified that the police considered Shimuningeni to be the kingpin in a rhino-poaching syndicate and that there was strong evidence linking him to the crime.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

Fishrot's De Klerk washes dirty laundry

5 days ago - 07 August 2020 | Justice

RONELLE RADEMEYER WINDHOEK Marén de Klerk, the lawyer who left Namibia amid allegations that millions of dollars from the Fishrot bribery scandal had passed...

Boy accused of murder granted bail

5 days ago - 07 August 2020 | Justice

NAMPAGOBABISA 14-year-old boy who allegedly stabbed an 18-year-old to death at the Kanaan A informal settlement in Gobabis this past Saturday has been granted bail...

Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo's bail appeal denied

1 week ago - 30 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo has been denied bail yet again after his appeal to the High Court was rejected.In his second bail bid, Gustavo...

'I will finish what I started'

2 weeks ago - 24 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK Johannes Stefansson, the Icelandic national who lifted the veil on the corruption in Namibia's fishing industry, has told Namibian Sun he will...

Fishrot a daylight robbery, says court

2 weeks ago - 23 July 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKWindhoek magistrate Duard Kesslau yesterday described evidence presented before him during the bail hearing of Fishrot accused Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson...

Esau and Fitty: ACC has nothing on us

3 weeks ago - 22 July 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK It is not in the interest of justice to keep former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau or his son-in-law...

'Taxa' wants fresh magistrate

3 weeks ago - 21 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKFishrot accused Pius Mwatelulo has launched a bail application in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, and has asked that magistrates who presided in other...

Gustavo adds properties to new bail offer

3 weeks ago - 20 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFormer Investec Namibia business manager Ricardo Gustavo has offered two of his properties to his N$100 000 bail offer in a fresh bid heard...

Ruling on Namandje's books postponed to August

3 weeks ago - 16 July 2020 | Justice

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKJudgment in the court case between lawyer Sisa Namandje and the Law Society of Namibia (LSN), which was due to be delivered tomorrow, has...

Ruling on Namandje’s financial books postponed to August

4 weeks ago - 15 July 2020 | Justice

Staff ReporterWindhoekJudgement in the court matter between lawyer Sisa Namandje and the Law Society of Namibia, which was due to be delivered on Friday, has...

Latest News

Man charged with girlfriend's panga...

12 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIA 36-year-old woman died after she was hacked with a panga at her mother's homestead at Ouhwaala village in the Omusati Region on Sunday.Her...

Covid hits Cabinet, Swapo

12 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKYesterday's routine cabinet meeting was held virtually after a senior official in that arm of government allegedly tested for Covid-19, while the ruling party...

Fishrot whistleblower rubbishes Samherji's loss-making...

12 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKWhistleblower Johannes Stefansson, who formerly headed Icelandic seafood giant Samherji’s Namibian business interests, has cast doubt on claims by his former employer that its...

Land surveying starts at Okahandja

12 hours ago | Economics

The ministry of urban and rural development has started the land surveying process at Ekunde Extension 5 in Okahandja in efforts to speed up land...

Africa Briefs

12 hours ago | Economics

Egyptians vote for newly created senatePolls opened in Egypt yesterday for a two-day election to choose members of a newly created second chamber of parliament,...

Pads restore dignity at Ncamagoro

12 hours ago | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWENCAMAGOROAbout 40 women and girls at Ncamagoro village in Kavango West received free sanitary pads on Monday, donated by anonymous benefactors from the Namibia...

Youth at the periphery of...

12 hours ago | Opinion

With this year's regional and local authority elections a mere two months away, young people are again being elbowed to the edge.In political parties, strategies...

‘Vast global gap' in funds...

12 hours ago | Economics

Stephanie Nebehay - There is a "vast global gap" between funds needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and funds committed, World Health Organisation chief Tedros...

Python skins seized

12 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSix suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and three new cases were opened recently, while seized products included python, leopard and pangolin...

Load More