11 Jun 2016 11:50am
OPUWO, 11 JUN (NAMPA) Otjozondjupa regional police commander Armas Shivute has taken over command of the 'Yesa Ongava' anti-poaching operation in the Etosha National Park.
He takes over from the regional commander of Oshikoto, Anne-Marie Nainda, who headed the operation for three months.
Speaking at the change of guard at Etosha on Wednesday, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)s Deputy Inspector-General of Operations, Major-General James Tjivikua said the last phase of the operation (between March and June) was a success.
Tjivikua said since March, eight people were arrested on charges linked to rhino poaching, while 12 firearms were confiscated in areas adjacent to the park and sent for ballistic examination.
Three rhino carcasses were discovered with their horns still intact over the same period. Bullets were recovered from the carcasses and investigations are ongoing.
During the period under review six rhino horns were confiscated from the eight accused persons and preliminary investigations suggested that these horns originate from rhinos killed in the Etosha National Park, Tjivikua said.
Two more rhino horns were seized by the Zambian authorities from a Namibian national and two Zambian nationals during their arrest.
Tjivikua said microchips found in these horns showed that the horns originated from a rhino which was dehorned and microchipped in Etosha in 2014.
He urged members of the public to keep informing the police of suspected poaching.
This has a negative impact on our socio-economic development and endangers the existence of our unique animals, he said.
Meanwhile, Nainda said the operation was complex but dealt with well by a good team.
We developed a very concise operation plan which helped us achieve our objective, she said.
She thanked members of the public for informing the police of suspected poaching which helped make the operation a success.
Incoming commander Shivute said people must refrain from poaching.
They should know that we will leave no stone unturned in protecting our rhinos, he said.