Namibia: Poaching Syndicate Caught Red-Handed

by Feb 9, 2012Wildlife News

THE Hosea Kutako Crime Prevention Forum and the Police stationed at the Hosea Kutako Airport Police Station made a breakthrough in their anti-poaching campaign when they arrested four suspects who illegally shot six animals on Tuesday night.

The forum was formed last year to join forces with the Police to fight poaching in the area. The farmers became police reservists and together they have been patrolling the area.

On Tuesday night some reservists noticed a car driving along dirt roads shining a spotlight into the bush. The reservists contacted each other and picked up the Police and they chased a bakkie in the direction of Windhoek.

The bakkie got away, but a roadblock was set up and four suspects in the car with the spotlight were arrested.

A rifle, knives, the spotlight and blood-soaked clothes were found in the car.

After interrogation by the Police it came to light that the four men were the shooters and butchers while the bakkie that got away was carrying the carcasses of the poached animals.

The carcasses were dumped 500 metres from the Nina turn-off, about four kilometres from the Hosea Kutako International Airport.

The carcasses of two hartebeest, which are protected in Namibia, and two kudus were found next to the road. Some of the haunches were missing and all were disembowelled. One of the kudus was a female in calf.

About three kilometres farther, a dead kudu bull was found. He had been wounded and died next to the road.

“We have no idea how many animals they wounded that are now dying a painful death or how many more they shot that night,” said one of the reservists.

Reservists and the Police have been following the poachers for the past three weeks but they always managed to evade capture. It is estimated that they have poached 20 animals in the past three weeks on the Dordabis, Midgard and Steinhausen roads. “They work in teams. The car with the shooters is a sedan and they drive through the roadblock and when they are stopped they call their colleagues in the bakkie with all the meat and the car goes though without any problems,” said the reservist.