SWAKOPMUND - A man was shot in the left foot on Wednesday morning by undercover police in Omaruru for apparently resisting arrest and for assaulting a police officer after he tried to sell a live pangolin.
The identified man along with another suspect allegedly tried to sell a pangolin to the undercover police officers at the Uis-Omaruru hitch-hiking spot in Omaruru on Wednesday morning.
Crime coordinator for the Namibian Police in Erongo, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu yesterday said the suspects offered the pangolin for N$50 000 to the police.
“When the police identified themselves, one of the suspects started to attack the police and resisted arrest by running away,” Iikuyu explained.
He added that the police chased the suspect up to a certain house in Omaruru, where he started attacking the police by throwing stones at them.
“One of the police officers shot the suspect in his left foot after he had fired several warning shots,” said Iikuyu.
The 34-year-old suspect was admitted to the Omaruru state hospital and is in a stable condition. He is currently under police guard while his co-accused was arrested and expected to appear in the Omaruru Magistrate’s Court today.
The two have been charged for being in possession of and dealing with controlled wildlife products under the controlled wildlife products and trade Act 9/2008 as amended Act 6 of 2017.
The injured suspect also faces additional charges of assaulting a police officer while executing his duties and resisting arrest.
Pangolins are endangered species but they are being harvested due to the popular belief that they allegedly protect humans against bad luck.
However a market for commercial trading exists because pangolin scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine, while their meat is considered a delicacy as well.
Conservation researchers estimate that over 1 million pangolins have been traded illegally since 2000 in the world. There are eight species, four each in Asia and Africa. Global wildlife trade is regulated by an agreement between 183 nations, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The organisation provides several levels of protection for endangered wildlife and at a recent CITES summit, the vast majority of delegates voted to move all eight species of pangolin to the highest level, “Appendix I”, a category reserved for species threatened with extinction.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-08-23 07:35:32 23 days ago