Namibia has announced that 3 Chinese nationals were arrested on 23rd March as they boarded an aircraft with 14 rhino horns and leopard skins hidden in their luggage. They were arrested as they tried to board a flight to Hong Kong from Namibia.
The three men were arrested at 07.40 am on Sunday 23rd March. Customs officials discovered the rhino horns during a routine scan of luggage. They had been wrapped in foil and plastic before being hidden in clothes. They were about to board a flight to Johannesburg with a connection onto Hong Kong as their final destination.
Deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi from the Namibian police revealed details about the Chinese following investigations.
The Chinese had flown from China on March 9th and arrived in Zambia. They then arrived in Namibia on 12th March on a tourist visa at the Wenela border post.
This was not the first time that the Chinese had visited Namibia as their passports revealed they had entered Namibia last year and also earlier this year.
The three Chinese, Li Xiao Liang (30), Li Zhi Bing (53) and Pu Xu Nin (49), appeared in magistrate court in Windhoek on the 25th March and remanded in police custody and have to return to court on 2 April.
All three have been charged with possession of and export in controlled wildlife products.
“This is a very serious case and it is enjoying the full attention of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism because these foreign nationals were found in illegal possession of products of animals which are protected in Namibia,” Kanguatjivi said to local media.
Pu Xu Nin told the magistrate at the first hearing that he had no connection with the other two accused and had no wildlife products in his possession. The magistrate, Jermaine Muchali, told him that he would have to stay in custody while police continued with their investigations and until the future court case.
Photo credit; The Namibian;