Three Bulawayo men have been arrested after being found in possession of five pieces of ivory.
The trio, identified as Leonard Murwira (48) of house number 846 Magwegwe, Enock Mhlanga (62) residing at house number 04 Gibson Avenue, Malindela and Pius Ntini (30) of house number 1818 Nkulumane 5, were arrested following a tip off.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the arrest citing that they received a tip-off that the trio were in possession of ivory.
“On the same day detectives from CID MFFU Bulawayo and National Parks and Wildlife Management reacted to the information and found a Nissan March registration number AET 2971 parked at TM Pick and Pay Bradfield.
“Upon arrival the team identified themselves to Murwira and Mhlanga and informed them that they had received information that they were in possession of ivory. A search was carried out on their vehicle and the detectives found five pieces of raw ivory wrapped in a 50kg sack.”
Inspector Ncube said the two accused persons were asked to produce a license or permit which gives them the authority to possess the ivory and they failed to do so leading to their arrest and recovery of the ivory.
“However, Murwira then implicated Ntini of house number 1818 Nkulumane, Bulawayo as the owner of the 50 kilograms of raw ivory indicating that he is the one who brought the ivory to them to look for buyers. On the same day a raid was carried out leading to the arrest of accused number three at number 1818 Nkulumane 5, Bulawayo,” said Insp Ncube.
He said the trio are being charged for illegal possession of ivory under C/S 82 (1) ARW SI 362/90 of the parks and wildlife parks Act Chapter 20:14.
Insp Ncube said the total value of the elephant tusks is still to be established and the trio are detained at Bulawayo Central Police Station and investigations are in progress.
“We are grateful as an organization and appreciate the level of participation in the fight against crime by our communities. Criminals should be now realizing that crime does not pay and the people of Bulawayo do not tolerate criminal behaviour. The suspects will appear in court soon,” said Inspector Ncube.