Foreign Criminals are recruiting locals to kill rhinos and elephants

WINDHOEK: Foreign criminal syndicates are recruiting locals to kill rhinos and elephants in Namibia, the Namibian Police (NamPol) says.

Speaking during a one-day national response workshop on the illegal hunting of rhinos and elephants on Monday, NamPol Chief Inspector Barry de Klerk warned that sophisticated, organised criminal syndicates which are involved in the illegal trade of animal body parts are wiping out wildlife.

It is against this background that we have already shifted our approach towards syndicate investigations.

Through the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA), Act No. 20 of 2004, we will be able to formulate racketeering offences, which focus on groups’ activities,” he noted.

Three elephants have so far fallen prey to poachers in the Bwabwata National Park in the Zambezi Region since the beginning of the year.

Figures for 2014 indicate that 78 elephants and 24 rhinos were killed by poachers in Namibia during the year.