Zimbabwe: Possession of Ivory Lands Trio in the Dock

7 August 2020

Three suspected wildlife poachers yesterday appeared in court after they were allegedly caught in possession of 31.70kg of ivory worth US$5 389.

Nyasha Rangarirai (29), Aaron Chisuro (49) and Clara Gapa (42) were facing charges of contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Babra Mateko.

They were remanded in custody to August 20 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

Allegations are that on August 4, detectives from CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit were on operation when they received information to the effect that the accused persons were in possession of a pair of unmarked ivory at Stoneridge DDF area along Mbudzi and Chitungwiza road and were looking for buyers.

The court heard that the detectives proceeded to the mentioned place were one of them disguised as a buyer, while the others were monitoring closely.

The detective who was disguised as a buyer approached the accused persons and they agreed to sell the ivory to him.

It is alleged that Rangarirai, Gapa and Chisuro took a black bag from a nearby bush and indicated they wanted to conduct the deal in a car and the detective complied.

The court heard that Rangarirai and Chisuro told the detective that they were selling the ivory for US$30 per kilogramme.

As the transaction was going on, the detective gave a signal to his fellow workmates who then pounced on the motor vehicle and identified themselves.

It is alleged that the detectives asked the accused persons to produce a permit or licence that authorised them to possess ivory, but they could not.

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