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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.

Explore your search results using the filter checkboxes, or amend your search or start a new search.

Displaying results 1 - 50 of 415
Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Smit E 2024. Illegaler Handel mit Wildtieren "bleibt Immens".

Trotz Bemühungen um Eindämmung des Handels mit bedrohten Tierarten wie Elefanten geht der illegale Handel mit Wildtieren weltweit unvermindert weiter. Dies geht aus dem einem Bericht des Büros der Vereinten Nationen für Drogen- und Verbrechensbekämpfung (UNODC) hervor, der eine Bestandsaufnahme der weltweiten Anti-Wilderei- Maßnahmen enthält.

Tuesday, 21 May 2024
Smit E 2024. Illegal wildlife trade 'remains immense' - UN.

Despite progress to curtail the trafficking of iconic species such as elephants, illegal wildlife trafficking continues unabated on a global scale. This is according to the 2024 World Wildlife Crime Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which takes stock of efforts to counter poaching worldwide. The report highlights that wildlife trafficking has not seen a significant enough decrease over the past two decades, prompting a call for enhanced enforcement of existing laws, including measures to combat corruption.

Monday, 13 May 2024
Iyambo S 2024. Two arrested over wildlife products.

A Namibian (28) and an Angolan national (32) were arrested over the weekend for allegedly being found in possession of pangolin skin without permits, says national police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi.

Monday, 4 March 2024
2024. Namibia: Deforestation and poaching threaten endangered species.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism has sounded the alarm on the rapid decline of wildlife habitats due to deforestation and industrial emissions, exacerbating the impacts of climate change and hindering efforts to sustainably manage natural resources. In a statement released over the weekend to mark World Wildlife Day, Romeo Muyunda, spokesperson for the ministry, highlighted the urgent need to confront the challenges confronting local wildlife.

Sunday, 3 March 2024
2024. Namibia warns of wildlife crisis due to deforestation, poaching.

Namibia's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism said Saturday that rapid deforestation and industrial emissions in the country are causing habitat loss for rare and endangered wildlife, exacerbating climate change impacts such as droughts and floods, and hindering efforts to sustainably manage natural resources for future generations. In a statement commemorating World Wildlife Day, Romeo Muyunda, the ministry's spokesperson, underscored the critical need to address the challenges facing Namibia's wildlife.

Tuesday, 20 February 2024
2024. Pangolins in danger of extinction.
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism says pangolins are in danger of extinction. This was revealed by executive director of environment, forestry and tourism Teofilus Nghitila on World Pangolin Day on Saturday. "While observing the day, the line ministry wishes to remind the public that our pangolins are in danger of extinction. These species continue to be illegally captured and are the most trafficked mammals since 2014," she said. Nghitila said the illegal capturing of pangolins is causing the local population to steeply decline, putting them at risk of extinction.
Monday, 19 February 2024
2024. Pangolins most trafficked mammals since 2014 - Ministry concerned over pervasive poaching.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism in Namibia delivered a stark message on World Pangolin Day, shedding light on the alarming rise in illegal trafficking and poaching activities targeting pangolins. Teofilus Nghitila, the Ministerial Executive Director, expressed deep concern over the ongoing illegal capture of pangolins, highlighting them as the most trafficked mammals since 2014. "Unfortunately, this relentless exploitation has led to a steep decline in their population, pushing them perilously close to extinction," he emphasized.

Saturday, 17 February 2024
Moser K 2024. Namibia warns of rising pangolin trafficking on World Pangolin Day.
Namibia's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism issued a warning on World Pangolin Day, exposing the extent of illegal trafficking and poaching activities targeting pangolins.
Tuesday, 30 January 2024
2024. Three found with a live pangolin, held.

Two businessmen and a farmer of Lusaka have been taken to court for illegal possession of a live pangolin, one of the most tracked mammal in the world, valued at over K23, 000. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy, while their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine as they are believed to treat a range of ailments from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis.

Thursday, 21 December 2023
Moser K 2023. Sorge um Schuppentiere.

Das namibische Umweltministerium ist beunruhigt über eine akute Zunahme der Wilderei von Pangolinen in Namibia in den letzten Monaten. "Das Ministerium ist erfreut zu beobachten, dass zwischen dem 1. September und dem 30. November 2023 mehr Verdächtige im Zusammenhang mit Schuppentierhandel verhaftet wurden. Wir sind jedoch besorgt, dass dies auch auf einen Anstieg der Verbrechen an Schuppentieren hinweisen könnte", so Romeo Muyunda, Sprecher des Ministeriums, in einer Mitteilung.

Thursday, 21 December 2023
Nashama S 2023. Pangolins under serious threat, Environment Ministry observes.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism has raised alarm over the serious threat facing pangolins in Namibia. According to Romeo Muyunda, the Ministry's spokesperson, there has been a notable increase in pangolin trafficking cases from September to November this year, leading to a significant concern for the survival of this species. Muyunda disclosed that during this period, authorities have confiscated a total of 18 pangolin skins, 12 live pangolins, and 146 pangolin scales. This has resulted in 23 registered cases and the apprehension of 38 suspects.

Wednesday, 20 December 2023
2023. MEFT records confiscation of 18 pangolin skins.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has recorded a total of 18 pangolin skins, 12 live pangolins and 146 pangolin scales that were confiscated between September and November this year. This is according to the ministry's spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, who in a press statement on Monday said as a result 23 criminal cases have been registered and 38 suspects arrested.

Wednesday, 20 December 2023
Smit E 2023. Pangolin trafficking arrests surge.

There has been an increase in the number of arrests made in crimes related to pangolin trafficking between 1 September and 30 November. According to environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, 18 pangolin skins, 12 live pangolins and 146 scales were confiscated, resulting in 23 registered cases and 38 suspects being arrested. "These numbers surpass that of elephant and rhino arrests combined for this period."

Tuesday, 19 December 2023
Nakashole P 2023. Environment ministry concerned over pangolin poaching.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has expressed concern over crimes related to pangolin poaching. This was announced in a media statement by ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, released yesterday. "The ministry is happy to observe that more suspects have been arrested for crimes related to pangolin tracking between 1 September and 30 November. “We are concerned that this may indicate an increase in crimes related to pangolins," he said.

Tuesday, 19 December 2023
Surge in pangolin trafficking worrisome - Ministry.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism has noticed a concerning uptick in arrests associated with pangolin trafficking between 1 September and 30 November, prompting a mixture of relief and deep concern among authorities. Romeo Muyunda, the ministerial spokesperson, conveyed in a statement that while the rise in apprehensions signifies progress in combating the illicit trade, it also signifies a troubling escalation in crimes linked to pangolins.

Monday, 18 December 2023
Shefeni S 2023. Rare plant poaching case heading to court.

A suspected plant-tracking kingpin, Diana Mashiku (29) from Tanzania, and her three Namibian co-accused are scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing on 21 December. Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda says there is a growing trend of criminal syndicates using locals to illegally harvest Namibia's unique plant species. "This case is one of many where international poaching syndicates use Namibian enablers to persuade local community members to nd and harvest the plants for a small fee.

Sunday, 17 December 2023
Smit E 2023. Organised crime low in Namibia - Report.

Namibia's average criminal market score was 4.1, an increase of 0.2 since 2021. The country scored 3.5 on human trafficking and 4.5 in arms trafficking. For flora crimes, Namibia scored 6.5, and for fauna crimes - which would include rhino poaching and the linked trade in horns - it scored 4.5.

Thursday, 30 November 2023
Gaveni K 2023. Two arrested in possession of elephant tusks and pangolin scales.

Two men were arrested in possession of two elephant tusks and five pangolin scales at Magunje Growth Point.

Friday, 24 November 2023
McCain N 2023. Locking horns with crooks: Wildlife crime on the rise in Southern Africa, driven by poaching in SA.

The consequences for local ecosystems and communities are serious, [including the] deterioration of natural capital, social stability and cohesion; extinction of animal species; and erosion of sustainable economic development. South Africa is home to the world's largest rhino population and is a key source for the illicit supply chain. In the first six months of this year, 231 rhinos were killed in South African game reserves. Of these, 143 were in KwaZulu-Natal.

Tuesday, 14 November 2023
Motlhabane C 2023. Pangolin pain.

Caught with a mother pangolin and its child in his home village near Nata on 19 November 2022, 33-year-old Othusitse Baile will forgo his freedom for the next four years.

Friday, 10 November 2023
2023. Mt Darwin man caged 9 years for pangolin.

Tawanda Kakora of Nyamaropa Village in Mt Darwin will spend the next nine years in jail afer he was arrested while trying to sell a live pangolin. Kakora (34) of Nyamaradzo Village under Chief Nembire was sentenced to a mandatory nine-year jail term afer being convicted on charges of possession or selling a live pangolin. In passing sentence, Bindura magistrate Mrs Nomgugu Sibanda said there were no special circumstances warranting the court to be lenient. The prosecutor, Mr Carson Kundiona proved that on September 30, detectives from…

Thursday, 9 November 2023
Bisong EM 2023. Conservationists applaud Nigeria's action to confront illegal wildlife trade.

Nigerian environmental activists have hailed the federal government's decision to publicly destroy a sizable amount of wildlife products that were seized, such as crocodile skins, pangolin scales, leopard skins, and python skins, as a clear indication of the end of an era marked by various forms of impunity against the safekeeping of wildlife.

Thursday, 9 November 2023
Reiter C 2023. Illegaler Handel soll beendet werden.

Am Dienstag wurde ein 29-Jähriger in Nkurenkuru in der Kavango West-Region verhaftet, nachdem dieser mit zwei Schuppentierpanzern im Wert von 100 000 N$ in seinem Besitz vorgefunden wurde. Laut der namibischen Polizei hatte der Verdächtige keine Genehmigung für den Handel mit solchen Produkten, woraufhin die Panzer beschlagnahmt wurden.

Thursday, 9 November 2023
David M 2023. Another arrest for pangolin trading in Kavango West.

Another case of dealing in controlled wildlife products has been reported in Kavango West, involving a 29-year-old man who was found with two pangolin skins on Tuesday. This comes after two men, aged 36 and 44, were arrested for being in possession of a live pangolin in Kakoro village recently. NamPol spokesperson Inspector Raimbert Muronga said that the 29-year-old suspect was arrested around 13:00 in Nkurenkuru town.

Tuesday, 7 November 2023
David M 2023. Two caught with live pangolin.

Two men, aged 36 and 44, were arrested after being found in possession of a live pangolin in Kakoro village, Kavango West. NamPol Head of Media, Chief Inspector Elifas Kuwinga, reported that the arrests occurred on Sunday around 16:00. Both suspects are Namibian nationals. "They were apprehended after being discovered in possession of a live pangolin valued at N$50 000 during a police operation," he said. Kuwinga said that the duo is facing charges related to dealing with and possessing controlled wildlife products.

Monday, 6 November 2023
Chaco S 2023. Wildlife crimes in Cameroon: Prosecution needs to be bolstered as poaching remains a menace despite measures.

Cameroon ranked seventh out of 29 African nations in terms of being a source or transit point for illegal wildlife trafficking (IWT) during the decade spanning from 2009 to 2019, according to a new report. This is despite the measures taken by the law enforcement to curb the menace as increased involvement from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), CITES authorities and various other stakeholders, according to the report titled Analysis of Wildlife Court Cases in Cameroon: Jan 2010-Dec 2022. The most frequently…

Tuesday, 31 October 2023
Bruwer C 2023. Can South Africa contain pangolin trafficking?.

There are worrying signs that the illegal trade is becoming more organised, with professionals and government officials involved.

Monday, 30 October 2023
Edozie V 2023. Nigeria: Customs seizes pangolins, elephant tusk worth N680 Million.

The Eastern Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said it has made a significant breakthrough in combating wildlife trafficking by intercepting a substantial quantity of pangolin scales, elephant tusks and sacks of used second hand shoes worth N680,290,400 in its area of operation.

Monday, 9 October 2023
Walters T 2023. Snaring in Kruger National Park spikes more than 200% amid socioeconomic crisis.

Since 2020, snaring has tripled in the crown jewels of South Africa's Big Five reserves. This suggests economic hardship, although it is not the sole factor to blame. Responding to questions by the Democratic Alliance’s Hannah Winkler on the park’s snaring trends, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy reported the removal of thousands of snares: In 2020, 2,407 snares were removed; In 2021, 4,454 snares were removed; In 2022, 7,270 snares were removed.

Friday, 6 October 2023
Karengezeka Y 2023. Cop in trouble over US$ 15K pangolin skins.
Wednesday, 4 October 2023
Lupande F 2023. Live pangolin lands Mt Darwin man in trouble.
Monday, 2 October 2023
2023. How illegal wildlife, trade traffickers escape justice in Nigeria.

The three were arrested in Lagos in July 2021 following the interception by Nigerian Customs agents of 196 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 7,137.40kg, one sack of pangolin claws weighing 4.60kg and 29 sacks of elephant tusks weighing 870.4kg.

Thursday, 28 September 2023
Duba S 2023. Wildlife Crime: Northern Cape man fined R50,000 for trading in pangolin skin.

A Northern Cape man found with a pangolin skin at a truck stop on the N14 Road in Upington was sentenced to a fine of R50,000. Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Tebogo Thebe said that Zandray Dawids, 40, was arrested in January 2021 after being found with pangolin skin at a truck stop on N14 Road in Upington.

Tuesday, 26 September 2023
Nzangaya A 2023. Two arrested for possessing dead pangolin in Blantyre.

Police at Chileka in Blantyre District have arrested two men for allegedly being found in possession of a dead pangolin. According to Sergeant Jonathan Phillipo who is Chileka police public relations officer, the suspects have been identified as Vincent McLoud, 23, and Noah Mgawa Nikolasi, 55. Sergeant Phillipo said Chileka Police Detectives arrested the two on Monday September 25, 2023 at Puli Village following a tip-off by well-wishers.

Monday, 25 September 2023
McCain N 2023. Pangolins, rescued from poachers, are being given a second chance in SA game reserves.

After weeks of being kept in cramped spaces, deprived of food and water, many pangolins rescued from the illegal wildlife trade don't survive. But those who survive are given a second chance at some of South Africa's private game reserves, including &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Since 2019, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve has successfully reintroduced several pangolins onto its property, with a number of them having bred and produced a second generation of these endangered animals.

Friday, 22 September 2023
2023. Mozambique: SERNIC arrests two for poaching.

Mozambique's National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) has arrested two people in Moatize district, in the central province of Tete, for attempting to sell a pangolin.

Wednesday, 20 September 2023
Gaveni K 2023. Five arrested for poaching.

Five men were arrested for poaching at Humani Ranch which led to the recovery of 15 kg of Impala meat and a live Pangolin. In a statement, police said: "The suspects are Peter Tendi (38), Innocent Manyezu (31), Michael Bishou (23), Hlanganayi Sithole (61)." The suspects were arrested on Monday following a tip-off. On 18/09/23, Police in Chipinge acted on received information and arrested Peter Tendi (38), Innocent Manyezu (31), Michael Bishou (23), Harunaishe Shuro (43), and Johnson Hlanganayi Sithole (61) in connection with poaching at Humani Ranch…

Tuesday, 19 September 2023
2023. Man to appear in court for possession of a pangolin.

A man arrested for the alleged possession of a pangolin is due to appear in court for bail. Kabelo Jantjies, 58, is facing a charge of possession of endangered species. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) said he was arrested in Setlagole outside Mahikeng in the North West province following a tip-off. Hawks spokesperson in the North West, Lieutenant Colonel Tinyiko Mathebula, said the information led members of the Mahikeng Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit to a house in Setlagole, where a search was…

Tuesday, 12 September 2023
2023. Illegal wildlife trade fuels poaching  - Segokgo.

Pangolin poaching for enhanced sexual pleasure on the increase. The Commander of Botswana Defence Force, Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo, has warned that poaching will continue to be part of our lives for as long as some countries in Asia cling to their beliefs that some organs of wild animals give them sexual powers. Addressing journalists at a recent press briefing, Segokgo said, “There are some people in the East who believe that consuming or applying samples of organs such as horns, teeth, or even skins enhance their sexual…

Monday, 4 September 2023
Bothoko P 2023. Cape pangolin poaching on the rise.

The illegal trade in Cape pangolin scales amongst East African nations is suspected to be the driving force behind the unlawful killing of the creatures in Botswana.

Monday, 4 September 2023
2023. Three arrested after allegedly trying to sell a pangolin in Bochum.

The Limpopo endangered species unit arrested three suspects after were allegedly found in possession of a pangolin in Bochum n Sunday. They were charged with wildlife trafficking and contravening the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, Members of the unit, acting on a tip-off arrested the three suspects who were trying to sell the pangolin.

Monday, 28 August 2023
Nkala S 2023. 4 years in jail for pangolin possession.

Two Zimbabweans, who were recently arrested for illegal possession of a pangolin and illegally entering Botswana, have been jailed four years each.

Friday, 25 August 2023
Mojela A 2023. Female pangolin and baby rescued from poachers in the Northern Cape.

A mission to rescue a pangolin confiscated in Kuruman in the Northern Cape led to a Limpopo foundation sponsoring a flight to the Northern Cape to have it treated at Provet Animal Hospital in Hoedspruit. Provet Animal Hospital said on Facebook that a female Temminck’s ground pangolin was confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade and upon assessment, the veterinarian in Kuruman discovered that she was clutching a newborn pup, a little male, still wrapped in the afterbirth.

Tuesday, 22 August 2023
2023. Wildlife traffickers in e-hailing cab bust with pangolin.

The Hawks serious organised crime investigation (Soci) team arrested two suspects for illegal possession of pangolin in Primrose, Germiston. W/O Thatohatsi Mavimbela said the bust went down on Friday. "Information was received about two foreign nationals in transit in an e-hailing vehicle suspected to be in possession of a pangolin." "When members of the Soci team arrived at the scene, they found the two suspects, who are crossborder truck drivers from Zambia, carrying one pangolin in a bag."

Wednesday, 2 August 2023
Hartman A 2023. Cops seize unlicensed gun, python skins at Okombahe.

Erongo law enforcement officers on Monday evening arrested a 49-year-old Namibian man at a mini- shop at Okombahe for possessing illegal python skins and an unlicensed revolver. The arrest was a result of an intelligence-led operation, according to Erongo police spokesperson inspector Ileni Shapumba. "The person was found with two python skins, which he kept in a plastic bag in his shop," said Shapumba. The skins are valued at N$60 000. Python is a protected species under the Nature Conservation Act.

Wednesday, 2 August 2023
Motlhabane C 2023. Duo nabbed in possession of a pangolin.

Two Zimbabwean men have been remanded in custody after they were found in possession of a live pangolin.

Thursday, 27 July 2023
Smit E 2023. Special wildlife crime courts highly effective.

Assets and goods seized and forfeited to the state during the finalisation of wildlife crime cases at special courts last year were valued at more than N$4 million. The seized items included illegal wildlife products, firearms and vehicles used in wildlife crimes. According to the Wildlife Protection and Law Enforcement Report in Namibia, the judicial system faces a range of challenges in dealing with high rates of crime and ensuring justice is served; a central hurdle is a growing backlog of cases on the court rolls. "This has…

Wednesday, 26 July 2023
Mosikare L 2023. Zim duo in illegal possession of pangolin.

Francistown: Two men from Zimbabwe appeared in court Tuesday to face a count of capturing a protected game animal and another for entering Botswana unlawfully. According to the charge sheet, Kelvi Maposa, 43, and Matitshidza Sibanda, 33, both unemployed and from Plumtree in Zimbabwe, being persons not licensed, authorised or exempted unlawfully captured a pangolin being a protected game animal without a permit to do so.

Tuesday, 25 July 2023
Mukoya T 2023. Wildlife trafficking king pins sentenced.

Johannesburg - The Wildlife Justice Commission has heralded the conviction of four for the trafficking of pangolin scales and ivory as a "ground-breaking" move that has laid bare the modus operandi of the criminal networks trafficking wildlife commodities. The commission made the announcement following the conclusion of the trial against three Vietnamese and one Guinean national who were arrested by the Nigeria Customs Service in May 2022 for trafficking 7.1 tonnes of pangolin scales and 850 kilograms of ivory. Phan Viet Chi, Phan…

Thursday, 20 July 2023
2023. Court jails 4 foreigners for trafficking animals in Lagos.

The convicts were placed on trial for illegal possession, dealing in, assembling, storing, smuggling, and trading in pangolin scale and elephant ivory.