Thursday, March 4, 2021

Elephant tusk trafficking overwhelm Maun police

Fresh information has emerged that contrary to popular believe, Batswana are at the main culprits in elephant tusk trafficking.

Maun police station commander Kenny Badumetse told Sunday Standard this week that his policing area is overwhelmed with cases of elephant tusk trafficking, most of which are committed by Batswana .

Badumetse is adamant that locals are always at the forefront of the trafficking and that foreigners are only roped in to assist with markets outside Botswana.

He revealed that “just this week, a 41 year old man, who is an employee of the Mahalapye Sub District Council was caught red handed at Makalamabedi veterinary gate in possession of four elephant tusks which he could not account for upon questioning. “He was travelling from Maun to Francistown in his Toyota Dyna when he was caught by police during their early morning random checks at the gate.

I am told this happened at around 1.40am on Monday. The tusks were found hidden under a mattress at the back of the bakkie he was driving. As police we are very much concerned about the rate at which elephant tusks are being trafficked from here on daily basis, which is why random checks, not only at veterinary gates, are conducted every now and then.

We do this with assistance from wildlife Anti Poaching Unit, as a way of discouraging even similar crimes”, said Badumetse. He said this was disturbing because instead of assisting in the fight against crime, Batswana have now resorted to swindling their own government. Police investigations on the matter continue, and the man is scheduled to appear in court next week.

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