Elephant tusks accused to stand trial

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Maria Amakali
Windhoek

The prosecutor-general has decided that two Chinese nationals who attempted to smuggle elephant tusks and other wildlife products out of the country will stand trial on various charges in July.

According to the prosecutor general’s decision 46-year-old Xinxi Xue and Ruhe Zhang, 60, should answer to the charges of unlawfully dealing in controlled wildlife products and unlawfully exporting controlled wildlife products without a permit, of which all charges are read with section 4 of the Controlled Wildlife Product and Trade Act 9 of 2000.

Xinxi and Ruhe were arrested in December at the Kappsfarm roadblock after the police on duty found them with ivory products and a seal skin carefully hidden in coffee tins. The duo were on their way to Hosea Kutako International Airport when elephant tusks that were cut into pieces were discovered concealed in instant coffee tins among their goods. It is alleged that the two attempted to bribe a police officer with N$4 200.

During the formal bail application the two provided a Nakara tax invoice for the seal skin, but they could not explain the ivory found in their possession.

The court granted Xinxi and his co-accused bail of N$20 000 after the prosecution stated that the items had been confirmed to have been bought and the State is in possession of the receipts. Furthermore, the two are not considered a flight risk as they are both employed and reside in Namibia.

The duo now will take the stand and answer to the charges when their trial begins in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on July 20. The duo’s bail has been extended till their plea and trial.

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