Five Gokwe men last week appeared in court for attempting to sell a live pangolin.
Tawanda Ngara (33), Phillip Murimira (39), Innocent Mungoro (38), Moses Muguti (35) and Clemence Mukumirwa (33) were all arraigned before Gokwe magistrate Mr Musaiona Shortgame facing charges of possessing a specially protected animal without a licence.
They were remanded in custody to today for their trial date after they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecuting, Mr Maxwell Tapfira told the court that on September 1, the quintet attempted to sell the animal.
Information was received from an anonymous informer to the effect that the accused persons were in possession of a live pangolin and intended to sell it.
Acting on the tip-off, a team comprising Gokwe police and Zimparks officials launched an investigation into the matter.
The team then obtained Ngara’s contacts which they used to contact the group and masqueraded as potential buyers.
Arrangements were made that the two groups meet at Gulliver area along Gokwe-Chitekete Road for the consumation of the deal.
Upon arrival, the detectives spotted a Toyota Granvia which was parked and they surrounded the car.
They then identified themselves before searching the car.
They found the pangolin neatly tucked in a plastic dish while in a brown cotton sack.
The pangolin, which weighed 9,77 kilogrammes, was seized by Zimparks officials.