The Herald (Harare)

4 June 2012

Zimbabwe: CIO Operative Arrested for Possessing Ivory

A Central Intelligence Organisation operative was arrested last week together with three accomplices for illegally possessing two elephant tusks.

The four illegal ivory dealers were arrested in Eastlea, Harare under an operation code-named Mutero Wabhadara Here?

Border Control and Minerals Unit spokesperson Detective Inspector Shelter Rufu confirmed the arrest.

"On May 24, detectives who were on Women Network Operation received information that some people were looking for a buyer for their two elephant tusks," Det Insp Rufu said. She said acting on the tip off detectives disguised as potential buyers went to the house along Daventry Road.

"Once the tusks were produced, the detectives identified themselves and arrested the illegal ivory dealers," she said.

Det Insp Rufu said the suspects were being held in custody as investigations continue.

The arrest of the four comes after the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority recently recovered 50 elephant tusks worth more than US$1 million after shooting dead a poacher and injuring another in Binga and Victoria Falls.

The Government gazetted replacement value for each slain elephant is US$50 000 while ivory sells for US$250 per kg.

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