Twenty-two people have been detained while several others could also be arrested in connection with the upsurge in rhino and elephant poaching.
Poaching of rhinos, elephants and other animals is rife especially in the Etosha National Park where the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is working in cahoots with the police to deploy a raft of innovative anti-poaching measures.
The Namibian Police Inspector General, Lieutenant Sebastian Ndeitunga confirmed 22 people linked to a rhino and elephant poaching syndicate have already appeared in court and their cases were deferred to the end of this month.
“Those who were arrested are linked to poaching in Etosha National Park. Some were found with weapons such as guns, ” said Ndeitunga.He however added that he would not dwell on whether some of the arrested suspects are employees at the park, but stressed the poaching at the famed game park is the work of organised criminals.
Ndeitunga said the collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the police is to curb poaching in Etosha and elsewhere in the country.
This newspaper was also reliably informed that there was a major shake-up at Etosha. Some employees were transferred to other parks as they were found to be literally sleeping on the job.
“We want to protect the rhinos and elephants from being poached and to put an end to this organised crime syndicate,” stressed Ndeitunga.
So far 43 rhinos have been killed in the country compared to 28 last year, while 78 elephants were poached last year and more have been butchered this year by relentless poachers.
Some of the achievements in Etosha include the establishment of the Protected Resources Unit and the dehorning of 57 rhinos in November 2014 to make the rhinos less vulnerable to poachers.
Public relations officer in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Romeo Muyunda said the anti-poaching campaign has so far been a roaring success.
Muyunda said the deployed officers are hard at work to intensify law enforcement in Etosha and other parts.
According to Muyunda, the ministry is providing the much-needed resources to officers who are currently employed at the park.
Muyunda added that the environment and tourism ministry is also looking at expediting completion of the dilapidated 800 km long fence and so far 112 km has been done.
The ministry is busy sensitising the community around the park on the dangers and consequences of poaching. New Era Reporter
2015-07-03 11:06:33 | 4 years ago