WALVIS BAY – Three men who have been in custody following their arrest for trying to sell elephant tusks to undercover police officers in Walvis Bay were granted bail of N$30 000 bail each on Friday.
The suspects, Dirk Vermeulen, Edgar Clark and Michael Lusse were granted bail by Magistrate John Sindano on the condition that they report on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 07h00 and 19h00 to the police.
They were also ordered to hand over their passports to the investigating officer, should also not apply for new ones and should notify the investigating officer if they leave the district of Walvis Bay. The elephants tasks weigh about 64 kilogrammes and are worth around N$103 072.
Giving his verdict on the bail application, Sindano said the seriousness of the matter is relevant but not decisive in terms of the case.
Sindano explained that the state has not convinced the court that any other witnesses exist or that the accused persons will interfere with investigations.
“On the merits of the case, the state has a prima facie case against Vermeulen and Lusse on the possession of the elephant tusks. The state also has a prima facie case against Vermeulen and Clark on the trading charges,” Sindano said.
During the formal bail application Lusse told the court the tusks belong to a friend who moved to South Africa and he was just keeping them until the friend could obtain a new permit for the tusks that originate from Botswana.
Lusse said that he had the tusks since 2012 and never had the desire to sell them, instead he gave them to Vermeulen as he did not want to keep them.
The case was postponed to November 28 for further investigation.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-09-23 07:16:10 | 6 months ago