A joint team of government investigators has arrested three Chinese nationals and two Zambians for being found in possession of 25 pieces of rhino horns weighing approximately 32kgs.
And Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer who is also Department of National Parks and Wildlife spokesperson, Sakabilo Kalembwe said his ministry will soon be issuing a statement.
An insider involved in the investigation reported to News Diggers! that the five suspected wildlife criminals were arrested on 27th July at Chanida, close to the border between Zambia and Mozambique in Eastern Province.
“The three Chinese and two Zambian were arrested near Chanida border,” said the source withholding the names of the suspects. “The source of the rhino horns has not yet been established because in Zambia we don’t have that much Rhino population. But this is rather a case that proves that the country is a transit route for wildlife smugglers.”
The investigation was jointly conducted by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and the Immigration Department.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya could neither confirm nor deny the development, saying he had not yet been furnished with details since he was away in Livingstone.
Under the Zambia Wildlife Act no.14 of 2015 the suspects, if found guilty can be sentenced to five to ten years imprisonment for possession of the prescribed trophy. The sentence can increase to 7-20 years, if trafficking can be proved in the courts of law.