Reward for info on pangolin poachers

13 October 2017 | Crime

Namibian environmental non-profit organisations together with the environment ministry are offering a cash reward for any tip-offs that could lead to the arrest of pangolin poachers and traffickers or could prevent illegal pangolin killings or captures.

Pangolins are believed to be the most trafficked mammals in the world and in recent months, the illegal trade has taken hold in Namibia, leading to concerns that the Namibian population of Cape pangolin, or scaly anteater, could become extinct.

Illegal pangolin trafficking is so common that all eight species of these little-known creatures are categorised as threatened under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data listing.

The enormous demand for pangolin scales is driven by the insatiable appetite for traditional medicines in Asia, especially in China, where the scales are used to make a number of potions or ornaments. The meat is also a highly valued commodity.

Numerous studies have found that the scales have no medicinal properties and the threat posed by the Asian myth is causing huge environmental damage and is threatening the survival of the species.

The recently launched tip-line is part of a landmark outreach initiative spearheaded by the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) in partnership with several other organisations, including the environment ministry, and Namibia's communal conservancies and their NGO support organisations.

The outreach initiative is aimed at not only preventing pangolin poaching or arresting poachers, traffickers and syndicate heads, but also at educating Namibians about the “precarious status of these animals and to ask everyone to help put a stop to the illegal trade”.

Christopher Brown of the NCE told Namibian Sun that over the past years the incidents of live and dead pangolins confiscated in Namibia were typically in the range of about five to ten animals per year.

These numbers have risen considerably since then.

“Over the past three months, this has risen sharply to 23 pangolins. This could be the tip of the iceberg. We do not fully understand how the illegal trade pressures are working, but it would appear that there is both solicited illegal purchase through established networks and speculative collection and killing in the hopes of a sale.”

Brown warned that most Namibians are not aware of the legal consequences of being found guilty of catching, killing and trading in pangolins and their parts, and the outreach initiative is also aimed at warning poachers and traffickers, “including foreign nationals, that they will be severely dealt with if caught.”

The NCE has emphasised that Namibians have to become the “eyes and the ears” of poaching activities on the ground and to alert authorities immediately.

The growing pressure on these animals requires a “collective national effort to tackle the problem of incentivised illegal trade of pangolins to Asia”.

A cash reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of people catching, killing and trading in pangolins and for information leading to the seizure of pangolins or pangolin parts and products.

Brown explained that for an arrest with evidence, including live animals, skins, scales the basic reward is over N$1 000.

If the information leads to further arrests, for example of traders, traffickers, syndicate members, the reward will be considerably larger.

If the informant is prepared to make a voluntary official statement and to appear as a witness then the reward is again considerably increased.

The numbers to call or SMS are: 081 413 2214 or 081 423 2231, day or night.

All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Eight suicides this past weekend

17 hours ago | Crime

Eight people committed suicide this past weekend. According to police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi, the suicide victims were aged between 21 and 75, and...

ACC hunts former magistrate

1 week ago - 18 September 2018 | Crime

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked the public to assist them to trace former Gobabis magistrate Walter 'Rooies' Mostert.A warrant for his arrest was issued...

Dogs on the trail of poachers

1 week ago - 18 September 2018 | Crime

The environment ministry's new anti-poaching dog unit has already recorded several successes, which includes apprehending a poacher in the Etosha National Park. This happened during...

Former magistrate flees ACC arrest warrant

1 week ago - 17 September 2018 | Crime

The Anti-Corruption Commission seeks the public's help in tracing Walter 'Rooies' Mostert, a Namibian citizen with identity number 60032000286, following the issuance of a warrant...

Three men arrested for rhino horns

1 week ago - 17 September 2018 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITHPolice are clamping down on poachers, with two police busts leading to the arrest of an alleged poaching gang found in possession of rhino...

LAC trains legal fraternity on wildlife crime

1 week ago - 17 September 2018 | Crime

The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) last week held a training workshop on wildlife crime for 16 representatives of the legal fraternity, police officers and park...

Child kidnapping suspect denied bail

1 week ago - 13 September 2018 | Crime

A 27-year-old Angolan man accused of kidnapping a two-year-old baby at Omuntele on Sunday made a brief appearance in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.Oshikoto...

Justice for Lavinia

1 week ago - 13 September 2018 | Crime

The family of 26-year-old Lavinia 'Kalavi' Kagola, who died in a Windhoek hospital after being hit by a stray bullet in the early hours of...

Ofamili tayi pula uuyuuki omolwa eso lyaLavinia

1 week ago - 13 September 2018 | Crime

Ofamili yomunamimvo 26, Lavinia 'Kalavi' Kagola, ngoka a hulithile moshipangelo shaVenduka konima sho a yahwa koholo yuumbwa kopolisi koongulasha dhesiku lyotango lyaSepetemba, otayi pula...

Inquest into death of top spy

1 week ago - 12 September 2018 | Crime

The police are investigating the death of a top intelligence official, whose body was found with a single shotgun wound to the head.Police spokesperson Chief...

Latest News

Chinese swoop on Rössing

17 hours ago | Business

CATHERINE SASMAN State firm China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is said to be in pole position to acquire the majority...

RDP bungles councillor’s resignation

17 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWEA former Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) town councillor, who resigned from the party about seven weeks ago, says he is still receiving...

Asparagus project in Omusati boosted

17 hours ago | Business

Namibia's first-ever asparagus agro-processing factory will be sustained by a 360-hectare production area once full capacity is reached.A 60 ha plantation is already underway at...

Kalkfeld business market for free

17 hours ago | Business

A public market at the Kalkfeld business park under the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) will be leased to the Otjozondjupa Regional Council (ORC) from October...

Swapo elders ‘ignorant’

17 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES The Damara King’s Council has branded the Swapo Party Elders’ Council ignorant following its suggestion last week that...

Entrepreneurs: When the going gets...

17 hours ago | Banking

Entrepreneurs are people are skilled at adapting and being resilient in uncertain situations and come up with new, different and innovative ideas.“The challenges currently being...

TransNamib’s shocking meltdown

17 hours ago | Columns

The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) has become the latest organisation to hit out at the TransNamib board for alleged interference. The Paul...

Laughter is the best medicine

17 hours ago | Health

Henriette Lamprecht – It’s contagious and good medicine – not only for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. It lightens your...

Smelling the roses is not...

17 hours ago | Health

In today’s rat race it’s easy to lose your way in the daily grind while trying to keep your head above water. Our responsibilities as...

Load More