GWERU police yesterday intercepted and arrested three suspected poachers at Go-Beer farm turn-off along Matobo road following a tip-off that the accused persons were selling ivory.
The three were identified as Morgan Mabonyana (32), Peter Dhobha (31) and Johnson Shava (51) all from Woodlands Park Phase 1 suburb.
Information in possession of CommuTalk reveals that Mabonya and Dhobha were the first to be arrested and found in possession of a pistol with six live rounds.
The two reportedly led the police to a nearby bush where Shava was hiding while keeping their loot in form of raw ivory was hidden.
Shava who tried to escape got arrested after police fired warning shots in the air. Police also managed at the same time managed to recover two pieces of ivory whose weight certificate is yet to be established.
The matter is being investigated under ZRP Gweru Central RRB 4738622.
Meanwhile, reports often indicate that people caught in the act of poaching or in possession of ivory face a nine-year mandatory prison sentence. But the prospect of jail time doesn’t put them off. The ivory trade is big business, with a complex, globalized, organized crime web behind it.
Poachers are ‘recruited’ by middlemen, normally from areas further afield, who provide them with weapons, ammunition and money in return for ivory or other wildlife products.
Buyers pay from $1,000 to $2,100 (940 – 1900 euro) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) for ivory.
The unit’s intelligence indicates that poachers receive from $150 to $200 (140 to 187 euro) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) a small fortune for people living in extreme poverty.