Pangolin trader granted bail

26 May 2016 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 26 MAY (NAMPA) - A Windhoek resident arrested on Monday by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)'s Protected Resources Unit while in possession of a live pangolin and two pangolin skins, has been granted bail.
The 37-year-old Chrispin Sibitwani was granted N.dollars 1 500 bail when he made his first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along Lüderitz Street on Thursday morning.
Sibitwani is charged with two counts of illegal possession of or dealing in controlled wildlife products, and having contravened some sections of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act of 2008 for the illegal possession of a live wild animal.
He told Windhoek Magistrate Ilge Rheent that he will plead not guilty to the charges.
Public Prosecutor Ivan Tjizu did not object to the granting of bail.
His case was postponed to 01 August in order to allow him to apply for legal representation from the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
Sibitwani was arrested on Monday at about 15h00 at an office unit rented by the Shimwe Security Company in the Edumeds Building Complex along Independence Avenue in the capital.
The live pangolin was found hidden in a safe, while the pangolin skins were found in a maize meal bag.
Pangolins are covered in tough scales made of keratin like human hair and nails. They are found across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and mostly eat ants and termites.
The scales of the endangered species are dried and sold in Asia to cure cancer and other health conditions.
They are known for sticky tongues that in some cases are longer than their bodies.