The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: U.S.$160 000 Horns Land Pair in Court

Two Harare men who were separately found in possession of a rhino horn, 17 elephant tusks and five pieces of ivory worth more than US$160 000 appeared in court yesterday. Washington Kangarade (39) was arrested at his Pomona house as he tried to flee with the rhino horn.

Police also recovered 12 elephant tusks and five pieces of ivory stashed in a sewer inspection chamber at his house. Businessman Tendai Mugomeza (38) of 223 Sherwood Drive, Avondale West was found in possession of five elephant tusks. The pair appeared before Magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe on separate records charged with unlawful possession of unregistered or unmarked ivory.

Kangarade is facing an additional charge of unlawful possession of a trophy of a specially protected animal.

They were remanded in custody to Monday. The duo was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

The court heard that Kangarade was arrested on Wednesday after detectives from the Minerals and Border Unit received information that he was dealing in ivory.

Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri said police detectives went to Kangarade's house around 5am to search the place. Kangarade pretended to collect some keys for the gate, but took the rhino horn covered in a plastic bag. He allegedly tried to flee by scurrying over the security wall.

Kangarade was, however, arrested and failed to produce a valid licence for the possession of the horn.

The police searched Kangarade's house and discovered 12 elephant tusks and five pieces of ivory. The rhino horn valued at US$120 000 was taken to National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

The horn weighed four kilogrammes.

The elephant tusks weighed 36, 2 kilogrammes and valued at US$9 050.

Mugomeza was arrested on the same day and he led the police detectives to the recovery of the five elephant tusks. The tusks were stashed in an unused refrigerator in his garage.

The tusks weighed 127,6 kg and were valued at US$31 900.

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