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Zim men locked up in Bots for possessing dead pangolin

File pic : A dead pangolin

BOTSWANA police on Thursday last week arrested three Zimbabweans for illegal possession of a pangolin that was dead.

A pangolin is a classified animal in the neighbouring country and is protected by the law as a special species.

Indications are that the police in Botswana were patrolling using helicopters at the Gerald Estates on Thursday night in search of the gold panners but instead found three men, Johnson Maphosa (37), Mthulisi Sibanda (35) and Raymond Mahlangu (25), all from Zimbabwe in possession of a dead pangolin.

They appeared before a Francistown Magistrates Court last Friday.

The trio was also charged with illegally staying in Botswana.

In opposing their bail, prosecutor Leano Kgalemang told the court that the suspects were a potential flight risk.

“We are to take the exhibit to the forensic laboratory for analysis. The accused persons are illegal immigrants with no place of abode in Botswana. We fear that if granted bail they might flee back to their country,” said Kgalemang, adding that the offence was serious and carried a potential custodial sentence.

One of the accused persons, Maphosa, told the court that the pangolin did not belong to them. The other two did not make any submission.

The court remanded the three in custody to September 13, 2022.

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