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Ivory smuggling: ZRP confirms Grace Mugabe under investigation

FORMER first lady Grace Mugabe is under investigation for allegedly smuggling ivory worth millions of dollars, the ZRP has confirmed.

Grace is claimed to have shipped large consignments of ivory to China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, among other markets.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly sanctioned an “urgent” investigation into her activities after “very strong” evidence was uncovered by Adrian Steirn, an Australian photojournalist.

The former first lady was named as the mastermind of the illegal operation by two suspected poachers who were later arrested in a police sting after trying to sell tusks to Steirn.

Steirn posed as a customer for contraband ivory to infiltrate the smuggling and poaching networks.

He reportedly decided to probe further after hearing rumours about Mugabe’s complicity in trade during several years reporting on wildlife crime in Africa.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed an investigation was now underway.

“A report was made by an anonymous source and investigations are on, although still in early stages,” she told the Sunday Mail.

An advisor in Mnangagwa’s office, Chris Mutsvangwa added; “Investigations are certainly on.

“We received a report from a whistle-blower and some of her clients. Police and the whistle-blowers laid a trap for suppliers believed to be working for Grace Mugabe.

“The culprits were caught and that is how the investigations started. When we were confronted with so much evidence, there was no way we could ignore; we had to act.”

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