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Namibian Wildlife Crime 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 977
    Friday, 19 February 2021
    Denker H 2021. A moment to celebrate the secretive night crawler.

    The scaly creature is among the most-trafficked group of wild animals on earth. The small mammal, named after the Malaysian word 'penggulung', which means 'roller', is an endangered and relatively unknown species. Pangolins everywhere are relentlessly collected in the wild and trafficked to markets in Asia, where they are served as a delicacy in restaurants, and their scales are used in medicinal products. It's this consumption at end markets that drives the trade.

    Friday, 19 February 2021
    Smit E 2021. No environment ministry staff implicated in poaching.

    The environment ministry has confirmed that thus far no ministry staff have been linked to rhino poaching cases in Namibia, while rhino poaching has declined in national parks over the years. Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said confiscated rifles from staff in the Etosha National Park and ballistic tests conducted is an investigation with the police and, so far, no staff member has been linked to any poaching case. "Should there be any such case, we will take action including criminal charges against that staff member."

    Friday, 19 February 2021
    Cochrane J 2021. Too low, too slow: SA's rhino convictions.

    Too low, too slow: SA's rhino convictions.

    Friday, 19 February 2021
    Marriah-Maharaj J 2021. Six nabbed with elephant tusks in Durban.

    An intelligence-driven operation by the Hawks has resulted in the arrest of six suspects caught with elephant tusks in Durban. Police said the suspects, aged between 27 and 40, face charges for contravening the National Environmental Management of the Biodiversity Act.

    Monday, 15 February 2021
    Pijoos I 2021. Two men bust with rhino horn in Eastern Cape restaurant.

    The Hawks have arrested two men after they were found in possession of rhino horn and suspected stolen property in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

    Monday, 15 February 2021
    Dayimani M 2021. Two in court for allegedly trying to sell a rhino horn.

    Two men allegedly desperately trying to find a buyer for a rhino horn appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday. Jeremy Perring, 36, and Keanon Tereblanche, 27, were arrested at a beachfront restaurant in possession of a rhino horn on Friday. The two were each released on R3 000 bail and the case has been postponed to 29 April.

    Thursday, 11 February 2021
    Steynberg F 2021. Wildstropery in 2020 grootliks vasgevat.

    Wildstropery het in 2020 ’n afname getoon, met altesaam 31 renosters en elf olifante wat gestroop is en 654 vermeende wildstropers wat vasgetrek is. Die 654 verdagtes bestaan uit 597 Namibiërs, 26 Zambiërs, 22 Angolese, een elk uit Botswana en Zimbabwe asook sewe ander burgers wat betrokke is by 308 wildmisdaadsake wat in 2020 aanhangig gemaak is.

    Wednesday, 10 February 2021
    Venter Z 2021. Judge demands answers over rhino poaching case delays.

    Pretoria - More than a decade ago, Limpopo game farmer Dawie Groenewald and his co-accused were arrested on a multitude of rhino poaching-related charges, yet their criminal trial is yet to start - and a judge wants answers. Groenewald and his eight co-accused once again briefly appeared in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria this week, and their case was postponed to March 1.

    Tuesday, 9 February 2021
    Smit E 2021. Nearly 3 000 arrested for wildlife crimes since 2015.

    According to statistics, 371 wildlife crime cases were finalised with convictions in court during the five-year period and 565 suspects were found guilty, while 63 suspects were acquitted on charges. A total of 2 950 suspects was arrested in the 1 326 wildlife crime cases reported in the past five years, of which 579 cases related to high-value species. This is according to wildlife crime summary statistics for the period 1 January 2015 until to 3 December 2020, provided in the revised National Strategy on Wildlife Protection and Law Enforcement.

    Tuesday, 9 February 2021
    Wasike A 2021. Kenya: No rhino poached in 2020.

    Rhino poaching down from 59 cases in 2013 to zero in 2020, says Kenya Wildlife Service.

    Tuesday, 9 February 2021
    Stoddard E 2021. In the war on rhino poaching, data shows private parks are doing a better job.

    Rhino poaching declined sharply in South Africa last year, according to the latest official data, and the data also shows that rhinos on state land were far more vulnerable than those in private hands. In South Africa, if you are a rhino on a state reserve, your chances of getting whacked by a poacher are about nine times greater than if you roam a private one.

    Friday, 5 February 2021
    Steffen F 2021. Wildschutzstrategie bis 2026.

    Umweltminister Pohamba Shifeta präsentiert Zahlen und Statistiken, die eine deutliche Verminderung der Anzahl WildereiVorfälle anzeigt, aber andererseits eine ständige Zunahme der Verhaftungen vorweist. Er zeigt sich zufrieden mit den eingeführten Kontrollen, moniert aber die ständige Kritik an dem Programm des MEFT, das versucht die Dickhäuter unter Kontrolle zu bringen.

    Friday, 5 February 2021
    Ndjavera M 2021. Poaching cases down in 2020.

    Namibia has registered a drop in rhino poaching from 52 cases in 2019 to 31 since the beginning of last year. In 2018, the country lost 81 rhinos due to poaching, 66 in 2016 and 97 in 2015. The 2020 figure is the lowest in the last five years. Addressing a media conference yesterday, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said more resources have been allocated to fight poaching, and more stakeholders have come on board to support efforts to stop the gruesome practice.

    Friday, 5 February 2021
    Shikongo A 2021. Less poaching, more arrests in 2020.

    The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism recorded fewer incidents of wildlife poaching and maintained a high number of arrests for wildlife crime in 2020, minister Pohamba Shifeta says.

    Friday, 5 February 2021
    Thornton A 2021. History repeating: The illegal trade in rhino horn.

    Rhino populations are being hammered by poachers, steeping Africa in blood and pushing the species ever-closer to extinction to satisfy the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam and other countries - a demand largely based on the myth of the non-existent medicinal properties of rhino horn. For the record, rhino horn is entirely composed of keratin, also the chief component in hair, nails and animal hooves; you’ve as much chance of curing cancer by biting your nails as you have by drinking powdered rhino horn.

    Friday, 5 February 2021
    Smit E 2020. 654 arrested for wildlife crimes.

    Despite more than 1 000 court hearings dealing with wildlife crimes taking place last year, environment minister said they continue to reverse the trends of poaching, with fewer cases recorded in the country.

    Thursday, 4 February 2021
    2021. Sars busts R53 million worth of rhino horns at OR Tambo.

    The 18-pieces haul, destined for Malaysia, was found concealed in traditional clothing. The Hawks have conscated a shipment of rhino horns worth more than R53 million at OR Tambo International Airpot on Thursday, destined for Malaysia. This after the customs unit of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) at the airport bust the rhino horn after the detector dog unit selected a suspicious shipment declared as "HP Cartridges Developers", according to the statement from Sars.

    Thursday, 4 February 2021
    Movirongo C 2021. Elevated measures set to address poaching in the country - Minister.

    "In 2020, we recorded a total of 31 rhinos poached compared to 52 in 2019, 81 in 2018, 55 in 2017, 66 in 2016 and 97 in 2015," Shifeta said. The minister added that by the same token, Namibia recorded a total of 11 elephants poached in 2020, 13 in 2019, 27 in 2018, 50 in 2017, 101 in 2016 and 49 in 2015. As for pangolin, eight live animals have been seized in 2020 as well as five full carcasses, 59 skins, five skin pieces and 924 scales, he added.

    Wednesday, 3 February 2021
    Tsiko S 2021. Just in: Call to establish environmental court.

    Zimbabwe needs to establish an independent and specialised environmental court to effectively deal with the environmental litigation cases and offer better quality of sentencing to safeguard and restore the country's environment, WWF - Zimbabwe country director, Dr Enos Shumba says.

    Monday, 1 February 2021
    2021. Environment, Forestry and Fisheries on Rhino Poaching in South Africa in 2020.

    Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries report back on Rhino poaching in South Africa in 2020. South Africa saw a marked decline in rhino poaching during 2020, with the killing of rhino declining by 33%.

    Monday, 1 February 2021
    Terblanché N 2021. Poachers caught red handed.

    Excellent cooperation between the farming community and the Namibian Police in the area of Kapps Farm saw the arrest of three men suspected of poaching wildlife. According to a member of the farming community, the owner of Farm Bellrode discovered that there are poachers on his property on Sunday afternoon when he saw two strange dogs running through the bushes.

    Friday, 29 January 2021
    Carnie T 2021. Shocking statistics reveal that Kruger rhino population has dropped by nearly 70% in ten years.

    Shocking official statistics have emerged which show that the world's single-largest population of rhinos - those living in the flagship Kruger National Park - has been slashed by between 66% and 70% over the past decade, mainly due to the unrelenting wave of butchery by international hornpoaching syndicates.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2021
    2021. Nigeria Customs intercepts huge haul of pangolin scales, ivory.

    Authorities put the value of the seizure at N952million and say the items were headed to Vietnam. Mohammed Abba-Kura, Customs Comptroller, said at a media briefing on Tuesday in Lagos that the items were contained in a one-unit 20-feet container with number CSLU 2362640 heading to Haiphong, Vietnam. He said the items, falsely declared as furniture, comprised 162 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 8,800kg and 57 sacks of mixed endangered species of various sizes such as ivory/animal horns, lion bones and others.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021
    Jacobs S 2021. Kenyan national faces indictment in New York on charges of peddling elephant tusks and rhino horns, harming more than 100 endangered animals.

    A Kenyan man accused in a multimillion-dollar operation to deal rhinoceros horns and ivory from elephant tusks - harming more than 100 endangered animals - arrived in the city Monday morning after being extradited to face charges of conspiracy to commit wildlife trafcking and other counts.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021
    Amakali M 2021. Babi to be tried alone for bribery.

    Prosecutor general Martha Imalwa has decided to only prosecute self-proclaimed preacher Jackson Babi for his alleged attempt to bribe investigating officers last year following his arrest on charges stemming from the possession of two rhino horns, a firearm and ammunition without a valid licence.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021
    Smit E 2021. Inside the mind of a wildlife crime offender: National parks are the prime hunting grounds for convicted poachers serving time in Namibian prisons, a new study has found.

    It reveals how some offenders identified the Zambezi Region, which lies within the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), as the local hub for trading of wildlife products. Kongola, Rundu, and Windhoek were also implicated as local locations for transit or sale of wildlife products, while Bwabwata, Mudumu, Nkasa Rupara, and Etosha National Parks were identified as the sources for elephant, lion, and rhino products.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021
    Maromo J 2021. Bail denied for trio arrested for being in possession of elephant tusks.

    Pretoria - Three men arrested by the police in Limpopo as they attempted to sell elephant tusks valued at R168 000 to undercover law enforcement officers were on Monday denied bail by the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. Limpopo police provincial spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the trio were arrested on Friday at Savannah Mall and were allegedly in possession of elephant tusks.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021
    Daghar M 2021. Uganda's illegal wildlife traders undeterred by Covid-19 restrictions.

    Measures to help curb the spread of Covid-19 in Uganda - such as restrictions on movement - apparently have not deterred the illegal international wildlife trade. The demand for both traditional wildlife products (such as pangolin scales) and newer ones (such as elephant penises) has continued, with numerous arrests made last year. There was an increase in poaching in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s top wildlife reserve, with 60 poachers arrested between March and May 2020.

    Monday, 25 January 2021
    2021. 3 rhinos killed in two separate incidents in Lephalale, Gravelotte.

    Three black rhinos were found killed in separate incidents in the Lephalale and Gravelotte policing areas. In the first incident, a rhino was found shot and killed at a local game reserve in the Waterberg district on Friday, 22 January.

    Sunday, 24 January 2021
    2021. Bulawayo man arrested after being caught with zebra skin.

    Police in Bulawayo have arrested a 62-year-old man who was found in possession of a zebra skin and tail. Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said Jabulani Sifelani, who is from the city's Nguboyenja high density suburb, was arrested in North End on Tuesday afternoon following a tip-off from members of the public.

    Sunday, 24 January 2021
    2021. Kenya - Two men jailed for 5 years for possession of elephant tusks.

    Two men were sentenced to five years imprisonment or a fine of Ksh. 1million each for being in possession of elephant tusks. A joint security team comprising of police and officers from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) recovered the tusks weighing 28.5 kilograms. The tusks were found to be worth Ksh. 2.85 million.

    Saturday, 23 January 2021
    2021. Polokwane: Undercover cops arrest trio for possession of elephant tusks.

    The police on Friday arrested three suspects for possession of elephant tusks worth over R100 000. The suspects were arrested at a local mall during an undercover operation which was conducted by the police together with the Endangered Species Unit in Limpopo, K9 unit, Crime Intelligence, LEDET and KNP ECI .

    Friday, 22 January 2021
    Mukpo A 2021. Nigeria and Congo becoming major hubs for ivory and pangolin smuggling.

    Increased political buy-in for law enforcement and interdiction efforts at ports in East Africa have pushed wildlife smuggling westward to Nigeria. Between 1998 and 2014, the top two countries associated with ivory seizures were Tanzania and Kenya. Since 2014, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo have overtaken them. Corruption at the ports, the involvement of influential politicians, and rural poverty make Nigeria an aractive waypoint for smugglers.

    Thursday, 21 January 2021
    2021. Man appears in court for illegal dealing in rhino horns.

    A 36-year-old man appeared at the Kempton Park Regional Court on Monday, 18 January, after being arrested for illegal dealing in rhino horns. Kelvin Chigwede - who was arrested on Saturday - was charged for illegal dealing in rhino horns and contravention of the National Environmental Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) according to Hawks’ spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

    Tuesday, 19 January 2021
    2021. Court sends 51-year old man to 7 years in jail with hard labour for illegal ivory possession.

    The Chinsali subordinate court has sentenced a 51-year-old poacher to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of 9.5 kilogrammes (kg) of ivory.

    Tuesday, 19 January 2021
    Roodt M 2021. South Africa: Four arrested for illegal possession of ivory tusks in Randgate.

    The Randfontein Police working under the West Rand District Police together with the West Rand K9 unit arrested four male suspects for illegal possession of ivory on Friday, 15 January. According to Captain Mavela Masondo, Provincial Police spokesperson, the four suspects, aged between 29 and 37 were arrested in the parking area of the Randgate Library.

    Tuesday, 19 January 2021
    Singh O 2021. Police arrest suspected rhino horn dealer in Gauteng.

    Rhino horns weighing more than 70kg were discovered in chicken food mixture in a warehouse in Kempton Park in December. The Hawks arrested a 36-year-old man in Gauteng at the weekend for being a suspected rhino horn dealer.

    Tuesday, 19 January 2021
    Steynberg F 2021. Eerste renoster vanjaar gestroop - Beskuldigdes bly in aanhouding.

    Ses vermeende renosterstropers is vasgetrek en bly in aanhouding nadat 'n witrenosterbul in die Okahandja-distrik gestroop is. Volgens die hoof van die Blue Rhino-taakspan, komm. Barry de Klerk, is die karkas van die bul met sy horings verwyder omstreeks 07:30 op Vrydag 8 Januarie op 'n private wildreservaat gevind. Hy het bevestig dit is die eerste renoster wat vanjaar in Namibië gestroop is.

    Monday, 18 January 2021
    Nkala O 2021. The perfect rhino crime.

    Zimbabwean police officer Sergeant Tawanda Kwaramba drove from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls on September 16 2019, on a mission to undermine the law he had sworn to uphold. In Victoria Falls he loaded seven Chinese nationals into a stolen car and drove more than 900km to Sango on the border with Mozambique. From Sango border post, the Chinese nationals - Zeng Dengui, Peicon Jang, Liu Cheng, Yu Xian, Yong Zhiu, Cheng Zhiang and Qui Jinchang - were driven across south-central Mozambique to Maputo and the safety of a Chinese fishing boat that was due to sail them home.

    Monday, 18 January 2021
    2021. Mutmaßliche Nashorn-Wilderer verhaftet.

    Sechs mutmaßliche Nashornwilderer wurden festgenommen, nachdem vor zehn Tagen im Bezirk Okahandja ein Breitmaulnashornbulle gewildert worden war. Nach der Bekanntgabe der Nachricht am vergangenen Freitag gab der Leiter der Blue Rhino Task Force, Barry de Klerk, an, dass der Kadaver des Tiers - ohne Nasenhörner - eine Woche zuvor in einem privaten Wildreservat gefunden worden war.

    Monday, 18 January 2021
    2021. Three Bulawayo men arrested for ivory possession.

    Police in Bulawayo last week arrested three men after they were found in possession of five pieces of ivory.

    Monday, 18 January 2021
    2021. Mutmaßliche Nashorn-Wilderer verhaftet.

    Sechs mutmaßliche Nashornwilderer wurden festgenommen, nachdem vor zehn Tagen im Bezirk Okahandja ein Breitmaulnashornbulle gewildert worden war. Nach der Bekanntgabe der Nachricht am vergangenen Freitag gab der Leiter der Blue Rhino Task Force, Barry de Klerk, an, dass der Kadaver des Tiers - ohne Nasenhörner - eine Woche zuvor in einem privaten Wildreservat gefunden worden war.

    Saturday, 16 January 2021
    Steynberg F 2021. Ses vermeende renosterstropers vas.

    Ses vermeende renosterstropers is vasgetrek nadat 'n witrenosterbul verlede week in die Okahandja-distrik gestroop is. Volgens die hoof van die Blue Rhino-taakspan, komm. Barry de Klerk, is die karkas van die bul met sy horings verwyder omstreeks 07:30 op Vrydag, 8 Januarie op 'n private wildreservaat gevind.

    Friday, 15 January 2021
    Steynberg F 2021. Namibia - six arrested for rhino poaching after white rhino killed on private reserve at Okahandja.

    Six men suspected of rhino poaching have been arrested after a white rhino bull was poached in the Okahandja district last week. According to the head of the Blue Rhino task team, Commissioner Barry de Klerk, the carcass of the bull - with its horns removed - was discovered around 07h30 on a private game reserve."Detectives from the task force and the protected species unit of the Namibian police launched an intelligence-driven investigation last Saturday. During a secret operation, two suspects, Jeff Makayi Nadango (36) and Stefanus Muyenga Musore (49), were arrested in the…

    Friday, 15 January 2021
    2021. Namibia sees steady downward trend in rhino and elephant poaching.

    Namibia saw a continued downward trend in rhino and elephant poaching last year after stepping up patrols and sharply increasing nes, the government said on Thursday. Citing intensied intelligence operations by authorities and collaboration between the government and the private sector, environment ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said 30 rhinos had been poached last year compared with 50 in 2019 and 79 in 2018. Only 11 elephants were poached in 2020 compared with 13 a year earlier. "The reduction is attributed to many factors, one of them is increased patrols by our staff,"…

    Friday, 15 January 2021
    Leuschner E 2021. Woman nabbed with ivory.

    A 50-year-old woman was arrested in Walvis Bay after being found in possession of two elephant tusks. According to Erongo police spokesperson Erastus Iikuyu, the arrest took place on Monday at around 19:00 during a police raid in Robert Forbes Street. He couldn't say what the ivory was valued at. The woman faces charges of violating the law on controlled wildlife products and trade.

    Thursday, 14 January 2021
    South African Police Service (SAPS) 2021. Man arrested for possession of pangolin skin.

    Members of Upington Highway patrol have arrested a male suspect in connection with possession of Endangered Species. Police got information about the suspect yesterday and it was operationalized. The suspect was found at a hiking spot in Upington hitch hiking to Olifantshoek. He was searched and pangolin skin was found in his luggage. It is valued at about R108 750.00, weighing 2,05 kg.

    Wednesday, 13 January 2021
    Hartman A 2021. Woman in court over elephant tusks.

    A 50-year-old woman appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for possessing two elephant tusks. Karina Cloete was arrested at the harbour town on Monday after police got a tip that she had the tusks. She was charged under the provisions of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act. She was granted bail of N$10 000 and her case was postponed to 10 February this year to allow for further police investigations.

    Friday, 8 January 2021
    2021. Namibia sees steady downward trend in rhino and elephant poaching.

    Namibia saw a continued downward trend in rhino and elephant poaching last year after stepping up patrols and sharply increasing fines, the government said on Thursday. Citing intensified intelligence operations by authorities and collaboration between the government and the private sector, environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said 30 rhinos had been poached last year compared with 50 in 2019 and 79 in 2018. Only 11 elephants were lost to poachers in 2020 compared with 13 a year earlier.

    Tuesday, 5 January 2021
    Guy J 2021. Elephant ivory still being sold on eBay despite 12-year ban.

    Elephant ivory is still being sold on eBay despite the online marketplace introducing a ban more than a decade ago, researchers have found. Sellers are misrepresenting the materials used in certain items and sometimes using "code words" to disguise illicit listings, researchers from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent, in England, said in a statement on Monday. In 2008, eBay announced it was introducing a global ban on the sale of ivory starting on January 1, 2009. "Despite eBay's strict policy on Animal and Wildlife Products, there is…