2 men in court over rhino horns

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

AN illegal South African immigrant and a local man appeared in court yesterday for contravening sections of the Parks and Wildlife Act after they were found in possession of four pieces of rhinoceros horns worth US$240 000 without a licence.

Brent Johan Lunt (38) and Nyasha Mutendawafa (29), all of 6 Victor D’Arcy Close in Borrowdale, Harare, were not asked to plead when they appeared before magistrate Barbara Mateko, who
remanded them in custody to July 18.

Mateko advised the two to seek bail at the High Court, saying the charge they were facing was a third schedule offence.

Allegations are that on July 2 this year, detectives from CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna, Harare, were tipped that the accused persons were in possession of rhino horns, which they
intended to sell in Msasa.

It is alleged the informer indicated that the accused persons were moving around in a white Toyota Mark X and the detectives swiftly proceeded to Msasa, where they spotted the car
driving along Mutare Road.

The detectives are said to have followed the vehicle, with Mutendawafa driving, while Lunt was sitting in the front passenger seat.

The detectives allegedly blocked the accused person’s vehicle, which pulled off the road and stopped.

The detectives identified themselves and requested to search the accused persons and their vehicle.

The court heard that Lunt had a blue bag and a laptop on his lap.

The detectives allegedly searched the bag and found four rhino horns inside.

They also searched the accused persons and the vehicle, but nothing was found.

The accused persons were asked to produce documents authorising them to be in possession of the rhino horns and they failed, leading to their arrest.

The rhino horns weighed 5,993kg and are valued US$240 000.

The State said the police needed to establish their origin.

Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.

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