Maputo — Tete (Mozambique), 13 Sep (AIM) - The Mozambican police have detained a man in the western city of Tete who was found in possession of 29 elephant tusks.
The man, 32 year old Adido Marcelino, who is unemployed, was surprised by policemen as he attempted to sell the ivory.
"We confirm that we have detained him for further investigation", the spokesperson for the Tete provincial police command, Lurdes Ferreira, said. "He says the ivory has an owner, who gave it to him to sell".
Marcelino was trying to sell the tusks in the Tete neighbourhood of Matando, but some of the citizens he approached called in the police. The police believe the tusks must have come from 15 elephants killed by poachers.
Marcelino claimed he did not know the complete name of the person who told him to sell the ivory, "but he has high ranking and he has protection".
"There's lots of ivory coming from far away, from the Tete interior, from districts such as Zumbo, Magoe, Maravia", he added.
Ferreira said that, at the time of his arrest, Marcelino was accompanied by two accomplices, who escaped. "We are working to detain them", she said.
"This is the first time this year that the police have caught somebody in Tete province with such a large amount of ivory", Ferreira added. "We shall work to find out who is the real owner of the ivory".