Chinese poacher re-arrested as Namibia busts zebra, leopard skins syndicate
TWO Namibian men and a Chinese national appeared in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court on Friday for dealing and/or possession of stolen wild animal skins valued at N$337 400.
The Otjozondjupa police regional crime investigations
co-ordinator, deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb told Nampa in an interview on Friday that the three were arrested on Thursday in Windhoek with a variety of wild animal hides.
The two Namibians are 29-year-old Tiesto Shaningi and Setson Shikuyele (27) and Chinese national Hou Xuecheng. Hou owns a shop at China Town in Windhoek.
Khairabeb said the men were arrested following a tip-off that seven zebra skins, two jackal skins, a leopard skin, and a monkey skin were sold to Hou in Windhoek.
He said the skins were stolen from the Taxidermy Studio in Otjiwarongo. The two Namibians are employees of that factory, and had broken into the factory at an unknown time last Saturday or Sunday to steal the hides. Khairabeb said they sold the animal skins to Hou for N$10 000.
Hou was earlier this year apprehended, and appeared in court in Windhoek for allegedly dealing with elephant tusks without a permit.
He indicaated that he will engage a private lawyer, while Shaningi and Shikuyele said they will apply for State-funded lawyers. They were remanded in custody, and their case was postponed to 3 November 2014 to allow them to acquire legal representation.
Police investigations continue.