Three Zambians and two Batswana were last week arrested by police in Botswana for the illegal possession of 11 elephant tusks.
The suspects were arrested in the Ngamiland region following a tip-off. The Zambian were identified as Cletus Kamwale and Samson Chaima, both from Livingstone and Stephen Mukwemba from Lusaka.
The Batswana suspects were identified as Onthusitse Mothusiemang and 18-year-old Kelebogile Tonkole from the Maun area.
According to the State case, the five accused persons were intercepted at a veterinary checkpoint, leading to the recovery of nine elephant tusks that were stashed in the vehicle they were traveling in.
A follow-up raid on their hide-out in the Gumare communal lands led to the recovery of two more elephant tusks, two pistols of undefined make and 82 live rounds of ammunition.
State prosecutor Dimpho Ogotseng said a custodial remand would serve the interests of justice since investigations into where the 5 sourced the ivory are still ongoing.
Two of the accused persons told the court that they intend to engage attorneys while three will defend themselves.
Moroka Media 2018