Maria Amakali Windhoek-One of the Chinese nationals who was arrested in Eros, Windhoek early this year is said to have fled the country back to his native China, leaving his co-accused, a compatriot, to stand trial alone. Nan Chen, 29, was arrested alongside his fellow countryman Yanghui Lu, 41, on January 19 for illegal possession of rhino horns. The Namibian police found two fresh rhino horns with a combined weight of 5.5kg and an estimated value of N$400,000 in the garage of the two men’s rented apartment in Eros. Alongside the hidden rhino horns, the police discovered a poaching kit, rifles and bullets. “It has been confirmed that accused two has left the country,” said state prosecutor Rowan van Wyk. The state issued a warrant of arrest for Nan when he failed to make an appearance in court on June 21 and July 5, which consequently resulted in his bail being forfeited to the state. The pair face charges of possession and dealing in illegal wildlife products. They were granted bail of N$300,000 each after having been in police custody for more than two months. Even though Yanghui and Nan have maintained their innocence, based on the evidence the state believes that Nan came to Namibia to collect the products from Yanghui to smuggle them to China. Although rhino horns have no value to the Namibian government, on the black market the horn is a priceless commodity, going up to US$65,000/kg (N$829,887.39). Nan was in Namibia on a short-term visitor’s visa while his co-accused Yanghui was in the country on a work visa. Yanghui, who made an appearance alone before magistrate Vanessa Stanley on Friday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, was informed that although the matter was on the roll for the prosecutor general’s decision, it was not yet available. “The docket was submitted on October 13. It was submitted late because we had to confirm if accused two had left the country,” explained prosecutor Van Wyk, who requested that the court give a final remand for the prosecutor general to pronounce herself on the matter. Stanley granted the order, postponing the case to February 28. Yanghui’s bail was extended until then.
2017-11-13 08:42:58 10 months ago