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Namibian Wildlife Crimes article archive

This archive of published media articles about wildlife crime in Namibia aims to:

  • provide easy public access to published information and statistics
  • enable easy stakeholder access to articles
  • provide a comprehensive archive of wildlife crime reporting in Namibia

Public access to information is a vital component of ensuring community engagement in prevalent issues. Wildlife crime is one of the pressing environmental issues of our time.

Wildlife crime investigations are generally covert operations requiring utmost confidentiality to succeed. Investigations and prosecutions in complex cases may take months or even years to complete. For this reason, the information that can be released to the public without compromising cases is often limited. Nonetheless, the Namibian government strives to share as much information as possible with the public.

The Namibian media has welcomed this approach and regularly publishes statistics and feature articles on wildlife crime. These are entered into the database at regular intervals, creating a comprehensive archive of wildlife crime reporting in Namibia.

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Displaying results 1 - 50 of 1258
Saturday, 4 September 2021
2021. Malawi court set to sentence Chinese member in notorious wildlife criminal syndicate.

The Chief Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has set 27 September, 2021, as the day for delivering judgement against a Chinese national, Yunhua Lin, who is answering charges of money laundering and rhino horn trafficking. Lin came to Malawi as an investor like many do but without proper screening and vetting, the country let in a criminal who is destroying our current and future economy. Lin is a member of one of Southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife trafficking syndicates, which has been operating out of Malawi for at least a decade.

Friday, 3 September 2021
Cotterell G 2021. Police seize abalone in the Western Cape worth about R2.4 million.

Police in the Overberg region of the Western Cape confiscated abalone with an estimated street value of R2.4 million on Thursday night.

Friday, 3 September 2021
2021. Rhino poachers sentenced to 105 years in prison.

Three rhino poachers were yesterday sentenced to 105 years in prison by the Skukuza Regional Court, for rhino poaching and related offences. The South African National Parks (SANParks) today, 3 September, welcomed the sentencing.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021
2021. Kenya praises fight against poaching after animal census shows improvement.

Kenyan authorities have welcomed the progress made in the fight against poaching, after the publication Monday night of the first animal census conducted in the country, which should serve as a basis for improving environmental conservation. According to the data, Kenya has 36,280 elephants, among other things, a population that is up 21 percent from 2014, when poaching peaked.

Monday, 30 August 2021
2021. Limpopo man nabbed with lion teeth and claws granted bail.

Limpopo - The Bela-Bela Magistrate’s court last week granted bail to a Vietnamese national who was arrested earlier this month on charges related to the illegal trade of wildlife. According to Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi, the regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority the accused in the case, Guyen van Phong, was granted R10 000 bail and is expected to reappear on November 30. Phong was apprehended on August 12 in Bela-Bela after a four-month investigation by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) into the illegal trade of wildlife in the area.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Kamati E 2021. Accused poachers remanded at Otavi.

Three suspects arrested on poaching charges near Otavi last week were remanded in custody by the Otavi magistrate's court. The three were arrested on a gravel road near the Ohorongo Cement factory on Tuesday. They were found in possession of a silencer, ammunition, one hunting rifle, a knife and a machete. They were suspected to have been on a rhino poaching mission at a nearby farm.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Kamati E 2021. Beweerde stropers bly in aanhouding.

Die drie mans het verlede week hul eerste hofverskyning gemaak nadat hulle op 'n gruispad naby Ohorongo Cement in besit van 'n knaldemper, lewendige ammunisie, 'n jaggeweer, swaarkaliber-ammunisie, 'n mes en 'n panga betrap is. Die vermoede is dat hulle onderweg was om renosters op 'n nabygeleë plaas te stroop.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021
2021. Prozess gegen vermutliche Wilderer in Otavi.

Der Prozess gegen drei der Wilderei beschuldigten Männer in Otavi hat begonnen. Die Namibier zwischen 32 und 51 Jahren waren vergangene Woche nahe Ohorongo festgenommen worden, weil sie sich vermutlich, so die Anklage, auf einer Wildereimission befaden. Sie waren in Besitz eines Schalldämpfers, einer Jagdwaffe, schwerer Munition, eines Messers und einer Machete. Angeblich sollen sie versucht haben, auf einer nahegelegenen Farm Nashörner zu wildern.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021
2021. Using the law to access wildlife crime data.

Data on wildlife crime in Southern Africa isn't easy to obtain, despite legislation in several countries guaranteeing access to information that is in the public interest.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021
Chingarande D 2021. Man in court for possession of pangolin.

A Harare man who, resides at the Presidential Guard Brigade, appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with unlawful possession of a live pangolin.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021
Kabanza R 2021. Uganda: 'Reformed' poachers cry out for help.

A group of self-proclaimed reformed poachers in the districts of Rukungiri, Mitooma and Kanungu have cried out to government demanding income-generating projects. Members constituting the group are from areas neighbouring Queen Elizabeth National Game Park in Bwambara Sub- County, Rukungiri District, Kiyanga Sub-County, Mitooma District and Kanungu District. They say "life is becoming harder unlike when they used to poach."

Saturday, 21 August 2021
Munhende L 2021. Zimbabwe - A major transit route for smuggling of critically endangered shell fish to China.

Investigations by the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) have revealed Zimbabwe is now a major transit route for smuggling of valuable but critically endangered shell fish, abalone, to China and other countries.

Saturday, 21 August 2021
Nombembe P 2021. Illegal abalone dealer jailed and declared an undesirable person.

An illegal abalone dealer has been declared an undesirable person in SA after his conviction on a slew of charges.

Saturday, 21 August 2021
Makhafola G 2021. Poachers kill and dehorn two white rhinos on Free State farm, injure a third.

Free State police are on the hunt for poachers who killed and dehorned two white rhinos and injured a third at a farm in Steynsrus. Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said a case of rhino poaching was registered in terms of Section 57 of the Bioversity Act 10 of 2004 "after two rhino bulls were killed and one injured in Geduldfontein Farm". "The value of the two killed rhino bulls is R800 000," Makhele added.

Friday, 20 August 2021
2021. Drei mutmaßliche Nashornwilderer bei Otavi verhaftet.

Drei Männer, die verdächtigt werden, Nashornwilderer zu sein, wurden am Dienstagnachmittag in der Nähe von Otavi in der Otjozondjupa-Region verhaftet. Laut Polizeisprecherin der Otjozondjupa-Region, Inspektorin Maureen Mbeha, wurde ein Jagdgewehr mit einem Teleskop und einem Schalldämpfer in einem Kleinwagen gefunden, in der das Trio auf einer Schotterstraße nördlich von Otavi unterwegs war. Acht scharfe Munition, eine Panga und ein Messer wurden ebenfalls gefunden, so Mbeha.

Thursday, 19 August 2021
Khakhau S 2021. Anti-poaching bodies call for stricter sentences for rhino poachers.

Some anti-poaching organizations are calling upon the justice system to strengthen punishment against those found guilty of rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking. This comes after the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment recently released statistics indicating that rhino poaching incidents committed in the country within the first six months of the year have increased by 33% compared to last year, during the same period. Nature conservationists say the rhino is among the endangered species, not only in South Africa and the African continent but across the…

Tuesday, 17 August 2021
2021. Unberechtigter Pangolinbesitz und Viehdiebstahl gemeldet.

Die namibische Polizei hat in der Omusati-Region einen 28-Jährigen festgenommen, der ein lebendiges Schuppentier mit sich führte. Laut dem Polizeibericht trug er ihn in einer gelben Plastiktüte und versuchte, ihn an einen Polizeibeamten zu verkaufen, der verdeckt unterwegs war. Der Verdächtige soll außerdem Geld im Wert von 3 102 N$ an sich gehabt haben, das er unrechtmäßig erworben haben soll. Er befindet sich in der Polizeistation von Ruacana und wird am Montag vor Gericht gestellt. Derweil enthält der Bericht auch Informationen über Vorfälle von Viehdiebstahl.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021
2021. 249 rhino poached in first six months of 2021.

Some 125 people have been arrested for rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking across the country in the past six months. According to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment while the national lockdowns curbed the movement of people to halt the spread of Covid-19 in 2020 contributed to a decrease in rhino poaching, however the lifting of the stringent lockdown regulations appears to have seen an increase in rhino poaching in the first six months of 2021.

Monday, 16 August 2021
2021. Nigeria: Combating crime against wild life.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) recently announced the seizure of huge wildlife products including elephant tusks and other endangered species. And in Lagos, among some wealthy people, no party is complete without a display and barbecue of some protected animals, as seen in some trending videos on social media. It should worry the authorities that our country is fast becoming a huge jungle.

Sunday, 15 August 2021
Tairo A 2021. African rangers fight poaching under plight of COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey conducted by conservation encouragement charity, Tusk and Natural State, found that African rangers see no sign of relief. Poaching is actually escalating as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Africa’s communities and wildlife. The survey questioned 60 field organizations across 19 countries in Africa.

Saturday, 14 August 2021
Nombembe P 2021. Lion teeth and claws seized as wildlife squad swoops on Vietnamese suspect.

Authorities have recovered lion teeth and claws from a suspected illegal wildlife trader. The Vietnamese man was arrested during raids in Bela-Bela and Pretoria after a four-month probe by analysts and wildlife investigators. The suspect was also arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.

Saturday, 14 August 2021
Sithole S 2021. Poachers axe ZimParks rangers.

Three Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) officials are battling for life at a hospital in Harare after they were recently severely assaulted by suspected poachers in Mushumbi, Mashonaland Central province.

Thursday, 12 August 2021
Kapama F 2021. Tanzania: Court upholds 30-year jail term imposed on poacher.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the 30-year imprisonment sentence imposed on poacher, Ng'waja Serengeta, for unlawful possession of three pieces of elephant tusks valued at 15,000 US dollars (about 34.8m/-), which are government trophies.

Thursday, 12 August 2021
Masakadza B 2021. Church leader up for illegal ivory possession.

A postolic Movement Advent Mission church leader Ranganai Kande has appeared before the Harare Magistrates' Courts after he was illegally found in possession of ivory.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021
Tian E 2021. TRAFFIC to helpAfrica fight illegal wildlife trade.

A non-governmental organisation fighting wildlife trafficking, TRAFFIC, has signed an agreement with the African Union (AU) to help the continent combat illegal wildlife trade and support development.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021
2021. More than 1000 suspects nabbed for various criminal cases during joint operations.

On 4 August 2021 at about 08:00 a suspect was apprehended after he was found in possession of a pangolin at his farm house under Lephalale policing area.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021
2021. One poacher killed in Botswana.

One poacher was killed in an anti-poaching incident in Ditshiping village, Okavango Delta, Botswana Defense Force (BDF) said Tuesday.

Monday, 9 August 2021
Smit E 2021. 11 arrested with eight wildlife products.

At Okahandja, three Namibians were arrested on 24 July for illegally hunting a wildebeest. Festus Nyama, Staynley Bwendo and Phoster Manyando were charged for violating the Nature Conservation Ordinance Act. A hunting rifle was also confiscated. The case was not reported last week. In another incident at Kahenge, a Namibian was arrested with two python skins on 26 July. Hamutenya Mutjireni was charged with the illegal possession and dealing of controlled wildlife products. At Rundu, two Namibians were arrested on 27 July for being in possession of a pangolin skin.

Friday, 6 August 2021
Mgidi S 2021. Two suspects caught with 39 black bags of perlemoen.

Two men have been arrested in Jansenville with 39 black bags of perlemoen worth about R432,000 and an illegal firearm in their possession.

Friday, 6 August 2021
2021. Suspected rhino poachers arrested in the Free State.

Two suspected rhino poachers were arrested on a farm in Vierfontein in the Free State on Thursday, provincial police said.

Thursday, 5 August 2021
2021. Wildtierverbrechen bleiben stehts ein Problem.

Am 24. Juli wurden demnach drei Männer in Okahandja verhaftet, da diese mit einem Wildebeest-Kadaver und einer Jagdwaffe in ihrem Besitz gefunden wurden. In Kahenge, in der Kavango-West-Region, wurde am 26. Juli ebenfalls ein Namibier wegen illegalen Besitzes von zwei Python-Häuten verhaftet. Bei einem weiteren Vorfall des 27. Juli in Rundu, wurden zwei Männer, die im Besitz eines Schuppentierpanzers waren, ebenfalls verhaftet.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021
George L 2021. Nigeria seizes record R770 million in pangolin parts, elephant tusks.

Officials in Nigeria - a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking - have seized a record amount of pangolin scales and claws and elephant tusks as the government attempts to combat the trade, the head of customs said on Wednesday. The seizure, worth 22 billion naira ($54 million and over R770 million), included 17,137 kg of pangolin scales, 44 kg of elephant tusks and 60 kg in pangolin claws, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali, comptroller-general of customs, said in a statement.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021
Robinson D 2021. Rhino, elephant poaching continues to decline in Africa.

Rhino and elephant poaching continues to decline in Africa, most likely due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and enhanced protection efforts. This is particularly the case in Namibia, as well as Zimbabwe and Tanzania, bringing hope to a species plagued by intensive poaching over the past few decades.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021
2021. Mozambique: No elephant poaching recorded in Niassa Reserve.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Saturday that, for the third consecutive year, no elephants have been poached in the Niassa National Reserve in the far north of the country, or in the Gorongosa National Park in the central province of Sofala.

Monday, 2 August 2021
Routh R 2021. Babi to remain in custody, bail appeal dismissed.

Windhoek High Court Judge Herman January on Friday dismissed an appeal against the ruling of magistrate Linus Samunzala to release self-styled prophet Jackson Babi on bail pending his trial. Babi faces charges of possessing or dealing in two rhino horns, hunting a rhinoceros that is protected by law and possessing a hunting rifle and ammunition without a licence. The State claims Babi and Frizans Naululu Dumeni were in possession or dealt in two rhino horns at Babi’s residence in Kleine Kuppe in Windhoek between 26-27 May 2020.

Monday, 2 August 2021
2021. Interview: Namibia eager to partner with China on wildlife cooperation.

Namibia is eager to partner with China on wildlife cooperation, the African country's environment minister said during an interview with Xinhua. Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said that China has been a supporter of Namibia's conservation programs, adding that he had discussed others areas of cooperation with his counterparts during a trip to China. "Namibia-China cooperation is very cordial and a genuine one, especially when it comes to conservation programs and also environmental programs.

Monday, 2 August 2021
Ombati C 2021. Kenya: Police arrest four suspects with Sh10 million elephant tusks.

Police said the four were found in possession of 19 pieces of the jumbo tusks. The tusks have a street value of Sh10 million.

Sunday, 1 August 2021
2021. Nashorn-Wilderei in Südafrika legt wieder zu - 125 Festnahmen.

Voriges Jahr ließ die Nashorn-Wilderei in Südafrika nach - wegen des Corona-Lockdowns. Nun steigt die Zahl der getöteten Rhinozerosse wieder.

Sunday, 1 August 2021
van Zyl C 2021. 249 rhino poached in SA since the start of 2021 and it is increasing.

At least 249 rhinos were killed in the first six months of this year in South Africa. The bulk of the killings happened at the Kruger National Park, where 132 rhinos were killed.

Sunday, 1 August 2021
2021. Rhino poaching increases again in South Africa - 125 arrests.

Rhino poaching is increasing again in South Africa. According to Environment Minister Barbara Creecy, a total of 249 rhinos were poached from January to the end of June. "Although the number of rhinos killed for their horns is higher than the 166 in the same period last year, it is less than the 318 poached rhinos in the first six months of 2019," said the Sanparks National Park Authority on Saturday - International Ranger Day - with. The previous year is considered an exceptional year due to one of the world's strictest corona lockdowns in South Africa.

Saturday, 31 July 2021
Chingarande D 2021. Pangolin scales land 3 in court. NewsDay Zimbabwe

Three people have been arrested after they were found selling pangolin scales.

Saturday, 31 July 2021
Haynes D 2021. South African rhino poaching increased 50% this year, still lower than before pandemic.

There was a 50% increase in the number of rhinoceroses killed in the first six months of 2021 in South Africa compared to the same period last year, but the figure is still lower than pre-pandemic years, the country's government announced Saturday. Barbara Creecy, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, said 249 rhinos have been poached for their horns from Jan. 1 through the end of June. That's up from the 166 poached in the same time period in 2020, but still a marked decline from 2019, which saw 318 rhino poaching.

Saturday, 31 July 2021
2021. Rhino poaching update as SA pays tribute to brave and fallen rangers.

Minister of Environment Barbara Creecy today released the latest rhino poaching statistics for South Africa, whilst also paying tribute to SANParks' rangers, including those rangers who tragically died over the past year. Minister of Environment Barbara Creecy today released the latest rhino poaching statistics for South Africa, whilst also paying tribute to SANParks’ rangers, including those rangers who tragically died over the past year.

Thursday, 29 July 2021
2021. Zimbabwe: Seven armed robbers, poachers arrested.

"Meanwhile, on July 25, 2021 at Chatseka area, Mutawatawa, Murewa, police also arrested Joseph Kabunze (67), Perfect Kabunze (29), Chatseka Mapuranga (39) and Makwanya Kahwiti (29) for unlawful possession of ivory." The arrest led to the recovery of 4 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 12,5kg valued at US$2 635.

Thursday, 29 July 2021
Froneman A 2021. Pregnant pangolin rescued from suspected poaching, safely released.

A pregnant Temminck's pangolin was rescued from suspected poaching and handed over to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital recently. The Hospital stated that she was 'retrieved from a community handover' through a collaborative effort between the African Pangolin Working Group, South African Police Service (APWG), Endangered Species and Stock Theft Unit, and the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.

Thursday, 29 July 2021
Kandovazu E 2021. Prophet Babi remanded in custody.

Prophet Jackson Babi has been remanded in custody again after High Court Judge Harald January dismissed his bail appeal. The judge did not make available the full judgment, saying it will only be available later after it has been edited. Babi has been in custody since last year after he was arrested on poaching charges.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021
2021. SANParks and Greater Kruger partners to strengthen their anti-poaching approach.

SANParks and security partners in the Greater Kruger Region are jointly implementing a range of interventions as part of an integrated wildlife management approach to counter the effects of wildlife crime, in particular rhino poaching.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Kandovazu E 2021. Babi's bail appeal judgment is not ready.

Judgement in the matter where Prophet Jackson Babi is appealing a decision that denied him bail will be handed own later this week. Babi is appealing a judgment handed down by a magistrate in the lower court.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Ndlovu B 2021. Four men suspected to be poachers arrested after being found with elephant tusks.

Four suspected poachers have been arrested after being found in possession of elephant tusks worth nearly US$3 000.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Hattingh E 2021. Stryd teen olifantstropery werp vrugte af.

Hoewel niemand nog in hegtenis geneem is in verband met die vier olifante wat vanjaar in Namibië gestroop is nie, toon Namibië oor die afgelope agt jaar 'n sterk afname in die stroping van dié bosreuse. Volgens syfers wat deur die ministerie van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme bygehou word, blyk dit dat olifantstropery jaarliks verminder. Terwyl daar in 2016 tot bykans 101 olifante gestroop is, was dit in 2019 en 2020 onderskeidelik net 13 en 12 olifante.