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Two nabbed in Lupane for unlawful ivory possession

by Peter Matuka
19 Feb 2024 at 08:05hrs | Views
Police in Matabeleland North Province apprehended two suspects at Fatima Business Centre in Lupane for the illegal possession of ivory.

Appearing before the Hwange Magistrate Court on Saturday morning, the suspects, represented by Resident Magistrate Ms Yolanda Kabasa Kabonzo, were legally represented by Muvhiringi of Muvhiringi and Associates. They were remanded in custody until March 1 pending further investigations into the case.

The accused, Malvern Chigume (33) of Maglas Township, Zvishavane, and Qondisani Ncube (20) of Fatima Village, Lupane, face charges of unlawful possession of raw ivory.

Prosecutor Ms Brenda Ndlovu alleged that on February 15, at around 8 pm, Police detectives from the Flora and Fauna Unit at Hwange Police base received information regarding four suspects in possession of ivory at Fatima Business Centre, who were seeking buyers.

The Police detectives, in collaboration with Parks and Wildlife officers, proceeded to the business center and conducted foot surveillance as they approached the shops.

Around 11 pm, the team observed four adult males moving towards a lay-by a few meters from the shops, with two of them carrying a white sack containing suspected ivory tusks protruding out.

Approaching the individuals, the team identified themselves as police officers from the Flora and Fauna Unit based in Hwange, requesting a search. However, two of the accused fled the scene upon smelling police presence, while the other two were apprehended.

Upon searching the suspects, police discovered four pieces of unmarked raw ivory without the required permits or licenses.

During interrogation, Ncube claimed he obtained the ivory from his nephew, who remains at large, while Chigume asserted he was acting as an agent for buyers.

The seized ivory, totaling seven (7) kilograms with an estimated value of US$1,190.00, was taken to Hwange Zim Post for documentation.

Following ecological examination, experts confirmed the authenticity of the ivory pieces. Meanwhile, police continue to search for the two suspects who evaded capture.

Source - Byo24News