The three Chinese nationals who were last month arrested illegally for possessing 25 pieces of rhino horns weighing 32.2 kilogrammes at Chanida Border in Eastern Province have been named as Hung Qingzhou, He Qingmao and Wan Qin, while the two Zambians who were involved have been identified as Lovemore Kamwendo and Obert Simwajata.
They five have since been charged with possession of prescribed trophy and appeared before Chadiza Magistrate Fred Musaka where they pleaded not guilty.
Their lawyer Chansa Mulenga Kapatamoyo applied for bail but Magistrate Musaka could not grant it on grounds that they Chinese were a flight risk as they did not give exact addresses for their residences. The Chinese told the court that they are residents of Beira in Mozambique, while their Zambian counterparts – Kamwendo, a driver and Simwajata said they were residents of Chelston and Ngombe in Lusaka respectively.
Their second court appearance was on Thursday 10th August after their lawyer applied for a review of the bail application. Magistrate Musaka again refused to grant bail on the same grounds.
The five suspected criminals of wildlife were arrested near Chanida border on 27th July this year by a joint team of government investigators for being found with 25 pieces of rhino horns. They were briefly detained at a police station in Chadiza but were later transferred to Chipata Prisons were they are currently detained.