Game Products Case Referred to PG

The matter in which five men are charged with possessing elephant tusks was remanded to 26 September for the prosecutor general (PG) to decide how best to proceed.

Hou Xuecheng, 37, Rajaiyah Ranjith Kumar, 30, Sha Zhiwei, 27 Hamutenja Stanislaus Hamutenja (age not given) and George Mashala (age not given) are the accused.

Hou also faces a charge of possession of two cheetah skins without a game products permit. He was granted bail of N$30 000 on the charge of possession of elephant tasks and N$10 000 bail for the possession of two cheetah skins last week.

Kumar and Zhiwei were remanded in custody.

Mashala was granted bail of N$5 000 without any conditions attached two weeks ago in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Friday by Magistrate Jermaine Muchali.

Mashala, a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national, on whose trail the police have been since June, was found in hospital where he was receiving treatment for an injury to his foot.

A truck near the NaTIS Valley allegedly hit Mashala while he was fleeing from the police in June this year. He allegedly fled from his vehicle and crossed the road – that’s when he was hit by a truck and one of his feet was injured, thus ending up in hospital, court sources informed New Era newspaper.

The other four accused were arrested in June when police officers on routine patrol at night noticed suspicious-looking vehicles near NaTIS Valley.

The officers apparently monitored the situation involving a Toyota Conquest and a VW Amarok.

After the police approached the vehicles and introduced themselves, a search revealed four elephant tusks in the boot of the sedan.

The alleged driver of the sedan, Mashala managed to flee from the police who were looking for him. According to statistics 116 elephants and 14 rhinos have been killed in Namibia since 2012.

A second case involves controlled wildlife products after another three Chinese were caught with rhino horns early this year.

They were nabbed for attempting to smuggle 14 rhino horns valued at N$2.3 million out of the country. The investigations are incomplete and more suspects are expected to be arrested. This necessitated the matter to be remanded to 11 September.

Source : New Era