RUNDU – A 30-year-old man, who was arrested through a police sting operation on Saturday at Zigizi village in Kavango West, was granted bail of N$3 000 for alleged possession and dealing in pangolin scales when he appeared in court yesterday.
Andreas Tjiakwiva Sesau was arrested on Saturday afternoon at around 14h00 after he was found in possession of pangolin scales, which he offered for sale to an undercover official, during a police sting operation. The pangolin scales were valued at about N$50 000 and was confiscated by the police at the scene and the accused was subsequently detained and appeared in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court yesterday before magistrate Barry Mufana were public prosecutor Godfry Shivolo represented the State in the matter. The accused was warned to make sure that he doesn’t miss his next court appearance scheduled for Kahenge periodic court in Kavango West on 21 October. “In case of failure to appear in court, a warrant of arrest may be issued against you and your bail will be provissionally cancelled and bail money will provisionaly be forfeited to the state,” said magistrate Mufana.
There were no additional bail conditions given to the accused. Pangolins are hunted for meat, for use in traditional medicine and as fashion accessories, particularly in China and Vietnam.
The large-scale illegal trade in Asian pangolins is drastically driving down their numbers, and pangolin trafficking is now a huge (and illegal) business. Eight species of pangolins are found on two continents and have been declared vulnerable to critically endangered.