WINDHOEK - An elderly man who admitted in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to being in possession of a rhino horn, ivory and other wildlife products will stand trial in the Windhoek Regional Court.
The Prosecutor General has decided to prosecute Ruan Lai You, 79, on four charges namely; receiving stolen goods, dealing in controlled wildlife products without a permit, possession of a firearm without a permit and possession of ammunition without a permit.
Ruan was arrested on January 2 this year, after the police raided the house he was in the suburbs of Ludwigsdorf, Windhoek.
Upon raiding his home, the police allegedly found one rhino horn, 60 objects made from ivory, a leopard head and a cheetah skin.
In August, Ruan pleaded not guilty to all charges. In his plea explanation, he admitted to the court that he was indeed found in possession of wildlife products as stated. Ruan informed the court that his intent was to keep the products at his home at the time of his arrest. According to him, he bought the products found in his possession in Ivory Coast, West Africa before he brought them to Namibia. During his first appearance, Ruan was granted his freedom on a bail of N$180 000. The investigative officer dealing with Ruan’s case informed the court that Ruan is not a flight risk and thus should be released on bail.
The investigative officer indicated that Ruan is an elderly citizen who has health problems, furthermore, he has been in the country for more than 17 years.
As a condition for his release, the court informed Ruan that he should report himself every Monday and Friday at the Windhoek police station, hand in all his travelling documents and may not leave the district of Windhoek without informing the investigating officer.
Should the court find Ruan guilty, he is likely to face imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years or both the fine and imprisonment.
Ruan is expected to make his first appearance in Windhoek Regional Court on January 6, 2019.