Mmegi (Botswana)
Teacher faces possession of elephant tusks charges

FRANCISTOWN: A Nyangabgwe Primary School teacher is in hot soup after he was arrested for allegedly being found in possession of elephant tusks.

Confirming the teacher’s arrest and subsequent detention, detective superintendent Ookeditse Moseki of the diamond, narcotics and fauna squad said that the suspect is currently in police custody aiding with investigations.

“We arrested a man aged between 35 and 40 years after we received a tip-off that he may be in possession of substances suspected to be elephant tusks. The man is a teacher at Nyangabwe Primary School in Francistown. He was arrested at the school premises last Tuesday,” Moseki said.

Moseki said the man has been on their radar for some time and it was just a matter of time before they arrested him.

Moseki added: “The suspected two elephant tusks were found in the teacher’s car. The man will appear in court as soon as our investigations are completed in the not-so-distant future. We have discovered that people who smuggle drugs, minerals and ivory in the northern part of Botswana have markets in some of our neighbouring countries that I cannot name”.

The police boss stated

that although he could not readily provide statistics concerning the interrelated issues of drugs, minerals and ivory trafficking in his northern policing district, the cases are on the increase.

“I plead with anybody to report issues of illegal possession of drugs, minerals and ivory. We have discovered that some people keep elephant tusks for themselves after they find them. This has led some of them into great trouble. We encourage members of the public to report these issues to the nearest police stations, wildlife department or even the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) if they come across ivory to avoid getting into unnecessary trouble,” Moseki pleaded, adding that they will not rest until the problem is totally eliminated.

The arrest of the teacher who was not named follows the recent blitz that dominated local and international news outlets about 87 elephants that were allegedly poached in Botswana during the past few weeks.

Government has since moved swiftly to deny those allegations as mere fabrication.