By Staff Reporter
Mutare: A local man together with a Zimbabwe National Army officer were arrested by police detectives from the Minerals Flora and Fauna unit after being found in possession of two live pangolins.
Kelvin Nyamapfeni (39) of Dangamvura and Cuthbert Makotore (30), a soldier based at 3.1 Combat Group in Gimbok, were charged for contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act.
The suspects were arraigned before Mutare senior magistrate Tendai Mahwe who remanded Nyamapfeni and Makotore in custody.
The suspects were represented by Farai Matinhure of Gonese and Ndlovu Associates and will be back in court next week Tuesday for trial.
The court heard on October 10 2020 detectives from Mutare Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit received a tip-off to the effect that the suspects were in possession of two live pangolins.
“A team of police detectives was set up and two motor vehicles were mobilised. Detectives Livison Chada and Mashange disguised as buyers using a Toyota Mark X while detectives Hove and Kurauone were using a Toyota Bubble.
“They drove the two motor vehicles to Dangamvura Area 7 where they were going to meet the suspects whilst the other team was following in a Toyota Bubble from a distance,” said the prosecutors.
Makotore came to Chada’s motor vehicle and indicated that he was the owner of the pangolins which he was selling at US$10 000
The detectives requested to view the pangolins first before they could part with their money and Makotore briefly went away promising to meet the detectives at Dangamvura greenmarket with the two live pangolins.
Makotore and Nyamapfeni then arrived a little later at Dangamvura greenmarket in a Mazda B2200 registration number ACV 6217 driven by Nyamapfeni.
Makotore disembarked from the front passenger seat while the detectives who were pretending to be buyers also parked their vehicle by the roadside.
“Detective Chada disembarked from the motor vehicle and identified himself to the suspects and nurture of their inquiry,” said the prosecutors.
The suspects sprinted in different directions but they were later apprehended by the police before they were searched and the two live pangolins were recovered from their vehicle.
One of the pangolins was in a floral bag on the passenger seat while the other was on the floor of the passenger side.
The two live pangolins weighed 9kg with a value of US$10 000.