Police have arrested three people found in possession of a pangolin, python skin, zebra meat and two hides from a serval and civet cat in separate incidents countrywide.
This comes after the ZRP has launched a crackdown on all suspects involved in wildlife crimes countrywide.
Criminal Investigation Department acting spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Rachael Muteweri confirmed the arrests last week.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police, Criminal Investigation Department, have arrested Langutani Sibanda (aged 37 years) of Juwel Joe Sibanda’s homestead in Gomwe Village, Chief Stauze, Beitbridge for contravening Section 45 (1) (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act Chapter 20:14. He was found in possession of a live pangolin,” she said.
Det Asst Insp Muteweri said Sibanda was arrested by detectives from CID Beitbridge who had picked up information that he was in possession of a pangolin and raided his homestead.
A search was conducted leading to the recovery of the pangolin and subsequent arrest of the suspect.
“He appeared at Beitbridge Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody to 29 July 2019,” Det Asst Insp Muteweri said.
In a related matter, detectives in Guruve arrested Fortunate Jombo (33) of Brandon Farm, Mvurwi, for unlawful possession of meat and hides of specially protected animals.
“The suspect was found in possession of 20kg of zebra meat and two animal hides of serval and civet cat stashed in a sack, in her bedroom hut,” Det Asst Insp Muteweri said.
In another case, Square Mpofu (48) of Blueborn Farm, Solusi Road in Umguza, was also arrested for possession of a specially protected animal trophy after he was found in possession of a python skin.
The dried python skin was recovered stashed under the bed in his bedroom hut. The python measured 1,6 metres.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is grateful to members of the public for supplying credible information that led to the arrest of the suspects,” said Det Asst Insp Muteweri.
“We would like to warn would-be offenders to desist from illegally killing wildlife resources as the long arm of the law will catch up with them. The Zimbabwe Republic Police shall not sit down until sanity prevails in the wildlife sector.”