Three Zambian nationals together with two Batswana young men were last weekend arrested by police acting on a tip-off for alleged unlawful possession of elephant tusks near Tsau village.
The suspects, 41-year-old Samson Chaima of Livingstone, 24-year-old Stephen Mukwemba of Lusaka and 37-year-old Cletus Kamwale of Livingstone and locals 23-year-old Onthusitse Mothusiemang and 18-year-old Kelebogile Tonkole both from Nokaneng village have since been remanded in custody.
The accused persons who were on Tuesday arraigned before the Maun Magistrate’s Court are alleged to have been found with 11 elephant tusks at Setata Veterinary gate.
The tusks were reportedly retrieved from a Mitsubishi vehicle they were traveling in from Gumare towards Sehitwa.
Their plea has been reserved as the State Prosecutor in the case; Dimpho Ogotseng, indicated that investigations on the matter are still ongoing.
Two of the accused persons told the court that they intend to engage attorneys while three will defend themselves.
According to Officer Commanding of District No5, Senior Superintendent Peter Gochela, upon arrest one of the suspects led police to Gumare where two more elephant tusks, two pistols and 82 live rounds of ammunition were recovered from his father’s yard.
Gochela says the 61-year-old man has now also been implicated in the case.
All the accused persons were remanded in custody with the prosecutor noting that the issue of their bail application will be discussed at the next mention when the substantive prosecutor of the case will be present.
The case has been set for the 6th of March.