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4 arrested for possessing ivory

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By Patience Lunda:

Ivory

Police in Kasungu have arrested four people on suspicion that they had ivory weighing 34 kilogrammes, elephant meat and live ammunition in their possession.

Kasungu Police Station spokesperson, Harry Namwaza, confirmed the development Monday.

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“The four suspects were arrested in two operations after police and parks and wildlife officers were tipped by well-wishers. The four suspects killed two elephants inside Kasungu National Park from which the ivory they illegally possessed was removed.

“We received a tip that the suspects were offering ivory for sale and that resulted in the arrest of the suspects at Bua and Dwangwa, where they were offering the ivory for sale,” he said.

Namwaza identified the suspects as 40-year-old Nickson Misha from Chibweza Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Dzoole in Dowa District, 44-year-old James Chagwira from Nduwa Village, T/A Chilowoko, in Ntchisi District, 48-year-old Assan Phiri and 48-year-old Nickson Nthukwa, both from Kanthungulu Village, T/A Chulu, in Kasungu District.

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“Misha and Chagwira were arrested at Bua while in possession of two pieces of ivory weighing 17 kilogrammes and the other two suspects were arrested at Dwangwa Trading Centre with two pieces of ivory weighing 17 kilogrammes which they were offering for sale at 60,000 per kilogramme.

“Five live ammunitions, weapons and elephant meat were also found in one of the suspects’ houses. Our records indicate that one of the suspects, Nthukwa, was convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour in 2012 on a similar offence but the sentence was suspended to three years,” he said.

The four suspects will appear in court soon after investigations are completed.

Charges include Illegal possession of specimen of protected species, conveying weapons into the national park, dealing in government trophies, illegal entry into a national park, among others.

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