By Tunomukwathi Asino
WINDHOEK - Hou Xuecheng, 37, was on Wednesday denied bail in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court when he appeared before Magistrate Jermaine Muchali Muchali on a charge of possessing elephant tusks.
Hou also faces a charge of being in possession of two cheetah skins without a permit.
His co-accused are Rajaiyah Ranjith Kumar, 30, and Sha Zhiwei, 27, who also face charges of dealing in and possession of four elephant tusks.
His co-accused were denied bail by the same magistrate in the same court early this month.
The three accused made their first appearance last month after they were arrested when police officers on routine patrol at night noticed suspicious-looking vehicles near NaTIS Valley.
The officers monitored the situation involving a Toyota Conquest and a VW Amarok of the accused.
After they approached the vehicles and introduced themselves as police officers, the search revealed four elephant tusks hidden in the boot of the sedan.
The driver of the sedan managed to escape but police are still looking for him.
The three accused were then taken to Hou’s place of business where the cheetah skins were discovered.
The accused claimed they did not know that the person who escaped was offering them elephant tusks as he had allegedly only informed them he had something that might interest them.
The matter will continue next week on Monday. In May, three Chinese attempting to smuggle 14 rhino horns worth N$2.3 million out of the country were also denied bail in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
According to statistics 116 elephants and 14 rhinos were killed in Namibia since 2012."