Two men who were eralier this month arrested after they were found in possession of rhino horns were granted bail on Friday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court after a formal bail hearing.
The accused are Chinese national Zhi Geng, 37, and Namibian national James Barron Wallace, 47. They were arrested for dealing in parts of elephants and rhinos, as well as for being in possession of controlled wildlife products. It is alleged Zhi was found in possession of 1.5 kg (27 pieces) of rhino horn valued at N$91 000 without a permit authorising possession or dealing on February 1 near Windhoek. It is further alleged Zhi and Wallace together were found in possession of 94 kg of abalone (perlemoen) valued at N$235 000 without a valid permit during the same operation.
Geng was granted bail of N$250 000, while Wallace was granted bail of N$30 000 by Magistrate Justine Asino last week. As part of their bail conditions they have to hand in their travelling documents and report twice daily at Windhoek Police station.
The two men are also alleged to have smuggled dried abalone from South Africa into Namibia. They were allegedly about to smuggle the abalone from Namibia to Hong Kong when they were arrested, police sources said. The two were arrested in a joint operation by the police and customs authorities.
During the bail hearing Hans Thourob represented the State.