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

 

Court shoots down NamRights

4 days ago - 11 December 2019 | Justice

NamRights says it will “leave no stone unturned” in its bid to have a High Court ruling overturned, which said that the human rights organisation...

28 years for sex trafficking

1 week ago - 05 December 2019 | Justice

A woman found guilty of human trafficking after luring a young girl from northern Namibia to Okahandja, where the victim was exploited sexually, was on...

Man pleads not guilty to killing girlfriend

1 week ago - 04 December 2019 | Justice

A 57-year-old man pleaded not guilty in the Windhoek High Court on Monday to killing his girlfriend by allegedly stabbing her with a knife at...

'Fishrot Six' festive season release bid today

1 week ago - 02 December 2019 | Justice

The 'Fishrot Six' are set to return to the Windhoek Magistrate's Court today to apply for bail, after a drama-filled appearance Friday in which the...

Zuma's lawyers jet in for Fishrot bail hearing

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2019 | Justice

Two senior South African advocates, who until recently represented former president Jacob Zuma in his corruption case in the neighbouring country, are in Namibia to...

Itula between a rock and a hard place

2 weeks ago - 26 November 2019 | Justice

Commentators says independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula finds himself between a rock and a hard place after an electoral tribunal yesterday dismissed his application...

Late drama as Esau is released

2 weeks ago - 25 November 2019 | Justice

The Windhoek High Court was a hive of drama late yesterday after former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, who was initially denied release from custody in...

Rape suspect pastor denied bail

2 weeks ago - 25 November 2019 | Justice

A Swakopmund pastor has been denied bail by the local magistrate's court, where he appeared on charges of rape, kidnapping and common assault.The 31-year old...

Fervently lawful

3 weeks ago - 22 November 2019 | Justice

Justicia Shipena Beverly #Khita-a Silas was recently appointed as the legal officer in the directorate of legal services at the ministry of justice.Vivacious Beverly,...

Man gets life for killing retired teacher

3 weeks ago - 21 November 2019 | Justice

Keetmanshoop resident Jan Benedictus Fredericks, 29, has been jailed for life for the murder of a retired teacher at the town.He was sentenced on Tuesday...

Latest News

Rundu chaos engulfs Swapo again

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Politics

The same chaos that engulfed the Rundu town council office-bearers election late last year, which dragged on to earlier this year, is once again playing...

Intercape confirms terrifying bus robbery

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Crime

While confirming a terrifying incident in which Intercape passengers were robbed at gunpoint on their way to Harare, the bus company did not answer questions...

Action, not promises

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Opinion

Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana's utterances on Wednesday in Walvis Bay, where he addressed the fishing industry, must have come as music to the ears...

Erastus gets CEO nod

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Business

Licky Erastus has been appointment as the new CEO of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC). Erastus had served as the company's acting CEO since June...

Dam levels still critical

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

While several dams have received inflows following good rains over the majority of the country, forecasts indicate that most parts of Namibia can expect only...

N$100k fine for ivory possession

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Crime

A man has been sentenced to a fine of N$100 00 or four years in prison for illegal possession of four elephant tusks. Bangorogile Motsokwe...

Students accuse Schlettwein of 'sabotage'

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Education

The Students' Union of Namibia (SUN) has accused finance minister Calle Schlettwein of sabotage, saying he is yet to release monies to pay their tuition...

Hundreds of thousands food insecure

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia’s agricultural sector has been contracting for the past five years and rural households and small-scale farmers have been severely affected, with 700...

Rundu welcomes ACC probe

2 days ago - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

KENYA KAMBOWE Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu has responded to a letter circulating on social media which alleges that the Rundu town council illegally swapped land...

Load More