Police in Hwange have arrested two men who were found in possession of raw ivory.
The duo, Nicholas Joseph Ncube aged 27 years from Sinderella and Sifiso Ngwenya (51) of Railways were intercepted with a sack containing four pieces of raw ivory intended for the black market.
Matebeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the arrest adding that the men were assisting police with the investigation.
“On 10 February police detectives received a tip-off that the two accused were in possession of raw ivory and were looking for a buyer. Hwange Intelligence operatives teamed up with CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna unit and Zimparks carried out a surveillance on the two accused persons,” said Insp. Banda.
He said one of the Zimparks officers posed as a potential buyer before Ncube advised Ngwenya to travel to Makwa to collect the ivory.
The police detectives followed Ncube who had boarded public transport to Runyararo village in Makwa where upon arrival they continued monitoring him.
“When the team arrived accused disembarked and proceeded to a homestead where he collected 4 pieces of ivory. The police intelligence team disembarked a few metres away to carry out surveillance and noticed him carrying a brown sack with ivory.”
The officers proceeded to the next bus stop after noticing Ncube flagging down a car to take him back to Hwange. The officers boarded the same car before they identified themselves to Ncube.
Sensing danger, Ncube tried to jump from the moving vehicle but was stopped in his tracks leading to his arrest.
Ncube implicated Ngwenya as the owner of the ivory.
Ngwenya who had remained with one of the operatives at the Hwange truck stop was subsequently arrested.
Insp Banda applauded the public for assisting police in apprehending criminals noting that tips offs had led to the arrest of many criminal elements.
“Our appeal to members of the public is that they should continue to work hand in glove with police by supplying us with all the necessary information that can lead to the unearthing of various other crimes, we really appreciate the support that we are getting from members of the community, ” he said.
The two are expected to appear in court this week. The value of the recovered ivory could not be ascertained.