June 2, 2021
39 court hearings on wildlife crime (Namibia)
Ellanie Smit, The Namibian Sun
June 2, 2021
Out of the 39 court hearings on wildlife crimes during May, only two cases were finalised, with two suspects found guilty. At Katutura, 29-year-old Kavijenene Kaemui was found guilty for the illegal possession of a pangolin skin on 17 May and sentenced to a fine of N$10,000 (N$4,000 suspended) or 24 months in prison (12 months suspended).
It took 697 days between his arrest, which was on 20 June 2019, and the verdict.
In another matter at Kamanjab, Josef Selvarius Karunga (38) was arrested on 28 September 2020 for the illegal possession of a python. He was found guilty and fined N$4,000 on 15 May.
This is according to monthly wildlife crime statistics for last month provided by the protected resources division within the safety and security ministry and the intelligence and investigation unit within the environment ministry.
According to this, there were zero suspects acquitted of wildlife crime-related charges.
During the month of May, nine new wildlife crime cases were registered, of which seven were related to high-value species.
A total of 12 suspects were arrested in line with the new cases reported, of which six were arrested for pangolin poaching/trafficking and three were arrested for elephant poaching/trafficking.
This resulted in 10 wildlife products being seized, which included three elephant tusks, five pangolin skins, an oryx carcass and a mountain zebra carcass.
According to the statistics, two suspects were also arrested in connection with old cases.