Three men have appeared in court after being found in possession of a pangolin worth $5000.
The trio was arrested in Luveve suburb on September 5 after the police received a tip-off.
Mthabisi Sivako (58) of Luveve, Paul Sibanda (50) of Gwatemba and Mehleli Ndlovu (31) of Gwanda appeared before Magistrate Joseph Mabeza on Wednesday.
They pleaded not guilty to a charge of being found in possession of or keeping a specially protected animal without a permit .
Magistrate Mabeza remanded them in custody to tomorrow (Thursday) for commencement of trial.
Prosecutor Simbarashe Manyiwa told the court that on September 5 detectives from Minerals and Border control who were working together with members from Department of Parks and Wildlife Management Authority received a tip off that the trio was in possession of a live pangolin.
“At around 5PM the police were told the trio was in Luveve and were holding the pangolin in a grey BMW registration number ADR 5666. The detectives proceeded to Luveve where they parked outside Sivako’s house and observed the car,” he said.
“The detectives approached the trio and identified themselves before requesting to search the car. They found a pangolin inside a Lebena biscuits box, tied with a red electrical cable in the boot of the car.”
Manyiwa said Sivako implicated Ndlovu claiming he brought it from Shangani.
He said the trio failed to produce permit to possess the pangolin leading to their arrest.
“The pangolin was taken to the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management Authority where it was said to weigh 5kilograms and valued at $5000,” said Manyiwa.