By Albertina Nakale
WINDHOEK - Twelve men arrested over the weekend in possession of eight elephant tusks and dried game meat were each granted bail ranging between N$2000 and N$3000 in the Mukwe Periodical Court on Monday.
The men were arrested with the tusks and other game products including a pangolin skin in the areas of Divundu and Ndiyona in Kavango East.
The suspects – all Namibians – are, Sirungu Mathias (38), Paulus Joseph (31), Murenga Paulus (46), Mundinda Munango (37), Nakale Amos, (68), Matamu Donatus (44), Ncani Kashe (44), Linyando Simon (42), Hausiku Haingura (34), Matjayi Kayongo (48), Kashera John (24) and Lishwena Alfons (44).
Their case was postponed to September 02 and September 04.
Mubebo could, however, not determine the weight of the tusks and the game meat that was confiscated from the twelve suspects.
In an unrelated matter, poachers also killed four black rhinos and wounded three others in the Uukwaluudhi Conservancy in the Omusati Region a week ago.
The death of the four rhinos killed brings the total number to 10 rhinos poached since January this year alone.
No arrest has been made in this regard.
Namibia recorded 123 cases of elephant poaching in national parks between 2005 to date, with 222 tusks weighing about 1 910 kg confiscated.
In all the poached elephants resulted in monetary losses exceeding N$1,3 million.
An estimated number of 105 people in possession of elephant tusks were arrested between 2005 and 2013. While from 2005 to date, 11 cases of rhino poaching were recorded. Of the poached rhinos, 18 horns weighing 14,3 kg valued at N$599 532 were confiscated and nine suspects were arrested.
The economic loss from poaching of elephants in 2012 in national parks amounted to N$3,8 million. The losses accrued from Bwabwata, Madumu and Nkasa Rupara National Parks where 28 elephants in total were poached.
About N$2,2 million was lost through the 142 elephants poached in conservancies in 2012.
Despite the recent upsurge in poaching the Namibian elephant population has virtually quadrupled over the last 20 years to over 20 000.