Friday, 15 May 2015

Mozambique raids wildlife house of horror

Mozambique police and wildlife officials have made their biggest wildlife bust ever after raiding a house belonging to a Chinese national. Hidden in the house of horror was 340 elephant tusks and 65 rhino horns.

“Undoubtedly, this is a case that is related to poaching. Some of the ivory tusks still have fresh blood, a sign that some animals may have been recently victimized, “said the spokesman for PRM in the province of Maputo, Emidio Mabunda.

The raid was undertaken on Tuesday on a house in Matola in Southern Mozambique. The operation culminating in the seizure involved 20 officers from various branches of the police and a team from the forestry and wild life department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Information was gained from intelligence work with the local community which led the officers to a condominium in the Tchumene neighbourhood of the city. The Chinese had been living in the house for about 3 months and his cover was that he earned money from recycling cans. The owner of the house is not connected with the investigation.

In total the haul is estimated to have a value of US$19 million. It is estimated at least 170 elephants and 65 rhino died from this one consignment. Part of the haul had already been packaged ready for export. As well as the haul of tusks and rhino horn the officials also recovered a collection of finished ivory products.

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