21 Jun 2013 12:00
OTJIWARONGO, 21 JUN (NAMPA) ? Eleven bags filled with dried meat with a street value of over N.dollars 20 000 were on Thursday confiscated here by the police.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)?s Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Co-ordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb told Nampa in an interview on Friday one suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Two more suspected poachers however got away.
Khairabeb said the police have opened a case of illegal hunting and possession of game products under CR no. 65/06/2013 against the 36-year-old suspect.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate?s Court on Monday.
?We arrested him at about 19h00 on Thursday during our patrols on the B1 road at the T-junction on the Okakarara-Okahandja-Otjiwarongo main road,? said Khairabeb.
It is alleged that the dried meat is from five Oryx suspected to have been killed at some commercial farms near Okonjima Game Lodge in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Oryx horns and tails were found packed in the bags.
According to preliminary information from the police, three men had first stopped a vehicle which was driving from Okahandja about 50 kilometres from Otjiwarongo.
The driver of the vehicle, the 50-year-old Jona Shaaningwa who is a Staff Sergeant in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at the Otjiwarongo Military Base, stopped his private vehicle to give them a lift to Otjiwarongo.
The three men then loaded their luggage, including the 11 bags of meat, onto the vehicle, telling Shaaningwa they would pay him about N.dollars 300 for the lift.
Shaaningwa allegedly did not know what was packed in the 11 bags, Khairabeb said.
The police had set up a roadblock at the Okakarara-Okahandja-Otjiwarongo T-junction, and they asked Shaaningwa to pull over so that they could search his vehicle.
The bags of dried meat as well as some homemade knives, blankets and shoes were found on the back of the vehicle, and while the police were conducting the search, two of the three suspects managed to run for cover in the bushes around the T-junction.
The vehicle was impounded on the spot.
Shaaningwa has not been arrested and police investigations into the matter continue.
Khairabeb appealed to the farmers here to always conduct regular foot patrols inside their farms, as it is alleged that most of the poachers in the Otjozondjupa Region tend to camp inside the farms where they then hunt, kill, skin and dry the meat of the animals.