A SENIOR police officer and four accomplices were arrested on Saturday for allegedly poaching on Farm Bloemhoff in the !Khob !Naub conservancy near Keetmanshoop.
The suspects had allegedly shot a springbok on the farm.
The men were released on bail of N$800 each at Tses Police Station on Saturday, and appeared in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The alleged poachers are police chief inspector Josef Bok, land reform ministry employee Reinhardt Seibeb, former police officer Fredrik Jansen, TransNamib assistant driver Kenneth Kooper and Namibia Breweries employee Karl Jansen.
The suspects face charges of hunting huntable game, hunting at night and hunting on state land in the Keetmanshoop Magi-strate’s Court on Monday.
They were not asked to plead, and their case was postponed to 20 November to allow Kooper and Karl Jansen to apply for legal aid.
Bok, Seibeb and Fredrik Jansen indicated that they would enlist the services of a private lawyer.
The suspects were arrested by environment ministry game rangers during a wildife crime prevention patrol in the conservancy. The game rangers found blood stains on a vehicle the suspects were travelling in.
According to game ranger Alfons Jossop, when confronted over the blood stains, the suspects at first denied any wrongdoing and insisted they were only hunting jackals in the area.
But one of the suspects later confessed that they had killed a springbok after mistaking it for a jackal, and had hidden the carcass in the bush.
Jossop confirmed that the suspects had been granted permission by the conservancy to hunt “problem animals” in the conservancy on Saturday night.
The game rangers confiscated two rifles and the springbok from the suspects during the arrest.