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Police bust 7 suspects for illegal possession of pangolin 

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By Staff Reporter 


SEVEN Murewa men have landed in soup after police detectives found them in possession of a pangolin, which is an endangered animal species.

The suspects, who face charges of contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act, face the grim prospect of languishing in prison for nine years if convicted of the crime.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) confirmed the arrest through a post on X this Saturday.

“On 14 June 2024, detectives from Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit in Murewa acted on received information and arrested Claud Matambo (22), Richard Dangarembwa (42), Tashinga Kwembeya (33), Tawanda Chitute (49), Milton Mcheka (30), Trovolta Hilary Tawanda Dzingai (38) and Munashe Chisasa (35) at Mazianike turn-off for unlawful possession of a pangolin.

“The detectives posed as potential buyers of the pangolin before arresting the suspects,” said the police.

In 2020 alone, at least 82 people were arrested for illegal possession of the species. Police recovered 17 pangolins and over 1 000 kilogrammes of pangolin scales, as ZRP declared war on wildlife crimes countrywide.

During the same period, the ZRP handled 40 such cases and of the 82 arrests, 12 of them were convicted and sentenced to an effective nine years each for possession of pangolins.

In Zimbabwe, the pangolin is one of the specially protected and most trafficked mammals.

The mammals are considered a treasurer and rarity whose meat is a preserve for consumption of chiefs.

In its entirety, the pangolin is believed to possess an array of medicinal qualities though no scientific qualification has supported this cultural mythology whose power has justified the poaching and trafficking of the only scaled mammal.