Ivory poaching kingpin nabbed

HK-customs-ivory-2-500x373Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
A Harare businessman believed to be the ringleader of a poaching syndicate has been arrested on allegations of smuggling six ivory tusks suspected to have been stolen from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

The tusks were smuggled to Asia using fake documents.

George Seremwe, the owner of Small World Lodge in Avondale, was arrested in Harare yes- terday.

He has a hunting concession in Muzarabani.

Seremwe was yesterday still assisting police with investigations.

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the arrest, but could not divulge more details.

“I can confirm that he has been arrested and is still assisting with investigations,” she said.

Although the details were still sketchy, sources close to the investigations yesterday said Seremwe was suspected of conniving with some Chinese and prominent people to smuggle ivory out of the country.

It is alleged that sometime this month, six ivory tusks were stolen and they were handed over to the Chinese accomplices who then allegedly connived with Seremwe to compile fake documents for them to be smuggled out of the country.

Investigations revealed that Seremwe was allegedly paid $50 000 by the Chinese to facilitate the shady deals.

It is also reported that he allegedly demanded another $20 000 saying it was for a Government minister that he was dealing with to facilitate the documents.

Police investigations led to the arrest of Seremwe.

The net will soon close in on some of the prominent people and suspects linked to the case.

During the past few weeks, a joint operation by the police and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority busted several poaching syndicates around the country, leading to the arrest of several suspected poaching kingpins.

Police have also recovered more than a tonne of cyanide, as authorities move to clampdown on poaching.

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