The City Police acted on complaints from tenants about scratching sounds coming from a locked office that belongs to a security company and upon searching the office they found one live pangolin and two scales locked in a firearm safe.
The incident happened early Monday evening at an office rented by Shimwe Security Company at the Edumeds building complex in Independence Avenue in town.
The City Police then arrested the security company supervisor who is 37 years old and handed him over to the Namibian Police. The suspect is charged with two counts of contravention of Nature Conversation Ordinance 4/1975, section 4(1) (a) for possession of controlled wild life products, and section 40 (1) (3) and subsection (2) for capturing wild animals. The suspect is due to appear in court tomorrow.
Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammals that are endangered species.
According to online source ZSL – let’s work for wildlife, pangolins are declining throughout their range due to increasing demand for their meat, which is seen as a delicacy, and for their scales and other body parts which are used in some traditional medicines.
Some Namibians believe the animal brings good luck and also use the scales for medicines. The street value of an average pangolin is believed to be about N$100 000.
According to City Police spokesperson Cillie Auala, the supervisor locked the pangolin and left it roaming in the office with some dry bread, rice and cabbage to eat. However, early Monday evening tenants started hearing sounds and bangs coming from the office rented by the security company and alerted the property owner. The property owner came to the premises and called the supervisor, who claimed that he was in Okahandja and that it is a cat he locked inside that was making the noise. But the owner maintained that if the supervisor wouldn’t show up they would break down the door.
Auala said the supervisor eventually showed up and by then the property owner had also informed the City Police.
Auala stated that the supervisor still maintained it was a cat he left inside and had thrown it in the dustbin. Meanwhile, the supervisor had gone into the office and hid the pangolin in the firearm safe.
“We asked him where the cat was and he took us to the bin where he allegedly threw it in but there was only a bag,” remarked Auala.
The police were not satisfied with his answer and upon further investigation the police realized that the firearms in the office were not locked inside the firearm safe. They then requested the supervisor to open it and found a live pangolin and two scales.