‘Asian’ national arrested with ivory

A 34 year-old Asian national was arrested at Harare airport today while in possession of 114 kgs of ivory.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority confirmed the development.

“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority confirms that an Asian national was today arrested at the International Airport for illegal possession of ivory.

“He was found with 17 raw pieces of ivory and several worked ivory which included bangles, chop sticks and beads weighing 113.9 kilograms valued at approximately US$28 250.00,” the statement issued by Public Relations Manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo said.

The arrest comes hard on the heels of an embarrassing cyanide poisoning poaching incident that claimed almost at least 100 elephants according to official figures while environmental activist have put the figures at 500 in Hwange National Park last month.

Media reports at the weekend claim unnamed government ministers are implicated in the horrifying tragedy condemned at home and abroad.

Washaya-Moyo though could not say the specific nationality of the suspect who intended to board an Ethiopian Airline destined for Malaysia.

The Zanu PF government has in the past adopted a hear no evil, see no evil approach as regards Asians operating in Zimbabwe because of its Look East Policy despite criticism from environmentalists, especially where Chinese nationals are involved.

Last year, some reports claimed Chinese nationals were implicated in the disappearance of tortoises at Harare's Mukuvisi Woodlands Park but authorities remained tight-lipped and hamstrung by political interference.

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