New Era

Maria Amakali,
January 5, 2018

WINDHOEK: A Chinese pensioner found himself in police custody after he was
found in possession of wildlife products without a permit in Windhoek on
Tuesday.

The police arrested Lai Yau Ruan, 80, on 2 January, after they discovered
that he was in unlawful possession of one rhino horn, 60 pieces of ivory,
one leopard head skin and cheetah skin, all products he had without a
permit authorising such possession. The police are yet to determine the
value of the items.

According to the prosecution, Ruan is guilty of contravening Section 4 of
the Controlled Wildlife and Trade Act. The elderly is now charged with a
count of possession of wildlife products.

According to Namibian Police Force spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kaunapawa
Shikwambi, Ruan was arrested two days into the new year after the police
raided his residence in the posh Windhoek suburb of Ludwigsdorf. It has not
yet been determined if the house belongs to Ruan, who is said to have been
in the country for more than 17 years.

Ruan was granted N$180 000 bail when he made his first appearance before
magistrate Vanessa Stanley in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The investigating officer dealing with Ruan’s case informed the court that
Ruan is not a flight risk and thus could be released on bail. The
investigating officer also indicated that Ruan is an elderly citizen, who
has health problems, furthermore, he has been in the country for more than
17 years.

As a condition for his release, the court ordered Ruan to report at the
Windhoek police station every Monday and Friday, hand in all his travelling
documents and not to leave the district of Windhoek without informing the
investigating officer.

Should the court find Ruan guilty, he is likely to face imprisonment for a
period not exceeding 20 years or both fine and imprisonment.

Magistrate Stanley postponed the matter to 23 February for further police
investigations. Ruan was warned to make an appearance as scheduled or risk
having a warrant of arrest issued against him.

Defence lawyer Kadhila Amoomo was representing Ruan with Ntelamo Laura
Mabuku prosecuting for the state.

“The police force wants to commend those unwavering law-abiding citizens
who contributed to the successful apprehension of the suspect,” said
Shikwambi.

 
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org