There was drama at Ngwasha Veterinary gate near Nata village on Sunday evening as a motorist, suspected to be a Zambian poacher, abandoned his ivory laden vehicle and fled into the bush during a routine stop and search exercise.
Superintendent Vincent Pitseetsile of Nata Police Station confirmed the incident which allegedly occurred around 7pm on Sunday when the suspect was driving from Maun towards Kasane.
“He was driving a Mercedes Benz bearing Zambian registration numbers,” confirmed Pitseetsile, adding that the motorist was stopped at the gate like any other and he complied.
He was then asked to pull off the road, as the police wanted to search his car.
This was after he had handed over his Zambian driver’s license to the police officer, he said.
Pitseetsile said the man, believed to be in his early 60s, disembarked from the car under the pretext that he was assisting the police to open the car boot. “We’re still pursuing the matter and I’m yet to receive the alleged driver’s license which the suspect handed over to the police. Investigations are still at their infancy stages,” said Pitseetsile.
Pitseetsile said the sketchy information so far gathered by the police is that the on the run suspect had 13 pieces of elephant tusks in his car boot which he was trying to smuggle into Zambia.
The police Chief further added that the officers could not give chase as the area is infested with dangerous animals such as lions, leopards and elephants.