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Cops fatally shoot rhino poaching suspect

2023-01-24  John Muyamba

Cops fatally shoot rhino poaching suspect

A suspect in a poaching case was gunned down by police officers on Saturday after three men allegedly hunted down a rhinoceros at farm Okarakua in the Windhoek district. 

One man, aged 27, was arrested, while a third suspect is still at large.

Subsequently, a murder case was opened against the anti-poaching unit officers.

The dead suspected poacher has been identified as Zambian national, Joho Somayewa, whose age is unknown.
The injured suspected poacher was identified as Soil Dickson Kumpoma from Sesheke, Lyamango also in Zambia. 
Kumpoma (27) was injured during apprehension and is currently under police guard at Windhoek Central Hospital.
His condition is described as stable.
Muyunda said the third suspect who initially fled the scene was apprehended yesterday and is yet to appear in Court.
It is alleged the poachers were in pursuit of a white rhino cow and a small calf.
Anti-poaching members fired shots to stop them in their attempt to kill the cow. 
They then fled with the anti-poaching team on their heels which led to a more joint operation with farmers in the area.

The incident happened at about 17h40. 

According to the police, a hunting rifle, silencer, rounds, two horns and two cell phones were recovered from the suspects. 

The value of the items has not yet been determined, and the nationalities of the poachers are also not known. 

The matter was attended to by the police, and the corpse was transported to the Windhoek mortuary for an autopsy. 

The next of kin of the victim have not yet been informed. 

Meanwhile, the Kavango West police arrested their colleague for the possession of a pangolin skin. 

The Tsumeb-based officer was nabbed in a sting operation after they (police) learned he was in the region to collect the controlled wildlife product through an organised syndicate.

“We arrested him and his operatives through a sting operation on Thursday at around 18h41 at Mpungu village after we found in their possession a pangolin skin, valued at N$50 000,” said acting regional commander John Kudumo.

The officer, suspected of possession of a pangolin skin, was with four other suspects in the deal. 

They were all apprehended, and they are due in court today. 

“We urge people to refrain from dealing in controlled wildlife products, the possession of which is unlawful. If you know of people doing such, please notify the police – even if you just stumbled upon it by accident. Don’t keep it or try to sell it. Report it,” Kudumo urged.

The 36-year-old constable is attached to the Tsumeb crime investigations unit, and he is based at the Nomtsoub police station.

2023-01-24  John Muyamba

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