Chinese businessman nabbed with three live pangolins at Walvis Bay

A prominent Chinese businessman of Walvis Bay and three Namibians are expected to launch formal bail applications in the Walvis Bay magistrates court today, after their arrest on Sunday for the illegal possession of three live pangolins.

Members of the Namibian Police received information of live pangolins being kept by the accused.
The pangolin is an endangered species in Namibia, partly as the result of an indigenous superstition killing the animal keeps bad luck at bay. More alarming the fact that live pangolins are smuggled to Asia for traditional healing and medicines. The person who contacted the newspaper is a well-placed source close to the incident as well as a local activist of the Anti Plunder Action Group.
The suspects were interviewed by local wildlife officials on Sunday after the arrests were made. The animals are in safekeeping. This source added it is ironical that the Chinese speaking suspect played a key role some months ago to facilitate a meeting between the Namibian Police in Erongo and Chinese businesspeople in the Region, to raise awareness of crimes committed against Chinese speaking nationals. “An incident like this, as well as other examples of Chinese nationals involved in the smuggling of protected wildlife products like rhino horn and ivory from Namibia unfortunately fuels the misconception that Chinese people are up to no good for Namibia’s natural resources and its people”, this source charged. “As with any other culture, a few rotten apples spoil the lot. I sincerely hope Anti Plunder Action Group, to which I am a member will take this matter public again. I wish they petition the Chinese Embassy in Namibia do more and do so visibly in public to educate Chinese businesspeople in Namibia to respect the country’s laws, its people and its natural resources. And to refrain from risking the country’s future for next generations, by exploiting our natural resources through illegal activities”, this source explained.
The fact that Namibians are involved in these smuggling rings also makes incidents like this alarming, said the source.
An official source in the Namibian Police confirmed the arrests yesterday and explained the suspects would have been formally charged yesterday and would make a first appearance in the Walvis Bay magistrates court today. It was understood the suspects want to bring bail applications without delay.

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