HomeNewsMan escapes 9 years imprisonment for pangolin possession

Man escapes 9 years imprisonment for pangolin possession

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A 35-YEAR-OLD Chipinge man this week miraculously escaped nine years, mandatory imprisonment for pangolin possession after convincing a Harare magistrate that the endangered animal belonged to police officers who arrested him.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Serious Mhlanga, who appeared before magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta, had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In denying the offence, Mhlanga told the magistrate that the three detectives were chasing a criminal and all fell to the ground as they failed to apprehend him.

Mhlanga said during the time the police were chasing after the criminal, a group of people jeered them and this angered them. He further said they then accused him of jeering them and arrested him to fix him.

However, the three detectives insisted that they arrested Mhlanga while in possession of the pangolin. But Mhlanga denied ever possessing the animal saying he only heard of the pangolin while at the police station.

Sabarauta ruled that police officers were now corrupt that one could hardly believe their evidence.

“There was supposed to be an independent witness and from the accused’s evidence you cannot deny his testimony,” Sabarauta said.
Allegations were that on July 27 this year detectives received information to the effect that Mhlanga was in possession of a pangolin and they proceeded to N Richards shop in Tynwald.

Upon arrival, the State alleged, they approached Mhlanga who was carrying a blue sack and he tried to run away, but he was apprehended immediately.

The detectives allegedly opened the sack and found a live pangolin and they arrested him.

Francisca Mukumbiri appeared for the State.

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