Soldier nabbed over elephant tasks

A SOLDIER who was trapped and arrested while dealing in elephant tasks was denied bail by a court yesterday.

Joseph Mupamhanga, 32, appeared before Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta charged with contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act by unlawfully dealing in elephant tusks.

Mupanhanga is stationed at Pomona Barracks and was remanded in custody to August 10 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

Prosecutor Fransisca Mukumbiri alleged that on July 30 this year police officers from Minerals and Border Control Unit Harare were tipped that there was a man selling elephant tusks.

The court heard that they proceeded to St Peters Vocational Training Centre in Machipisa where they would meet Mupamhanga.
Detectives were monitoring the transaction that would purportedly be between Mupamhanga and (sergeant) Banhu who pretended to be a buyer.

It was alleged that Mupamhanga arrived at Banhu’s car carrying a sack and the boot was opened and he placed it there.
Mupamhanga then got into Banhu’s car to seal the deal but before finalising anything the detectives arrived at the scene and introduced themselves as police officers.

Mupamhanga was asked to produce a licence permitting him to transact in elephant tasks but he failed leading to his arrest.
Detectives recovered four elephant tasks.

The tasks were taken to National Parks and Wildlife offices and weighed 16,8kg with a market value of $2 856.

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