By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
Four men have been arrested for allegedly stealing 36 elephant tusks valued at $61 000 from a West Nicholson hunter.Norman Dlamini (43) and Vusa Lunga (29), who are employed at different farms in West Nicholson as well as Christopher Mishoni (46) and Laurence Edward (69) of Hillside Suburb in Bulawayo, appeared at the Gwanda magistrate’s court yesterday for unlawful entry and theft but the matter was postponed to a date yet to be advised.
The State will proceed by way of summons.
According to the State, the four men opened Mr Nicola Rodgers’ storeroom at his house in Olympus Block in West Nicholson using a duplicate key between October 2016 and March 2017.
“On a date unknown to the prosecutor but during the period extending from October 2016 to March 2017, the accused persons connived and proceeded to Mr Rodgers’ house in the middle of the night where they unlocked the store room door using a duplicate key.
“They stole 18 pairs of elephant tusks and went away unnoticed. The offence was discovered by Mr Rodgers’ sister who found the storeroom door open and realised that the elephant tusks were missing. The matter was reported to the police who conducted investigations leading to the arrest of the accused persons,” according to court papers.
Dlamini, Lunga and Mishoni were allegedly intercepted by police while transporting 26 elephant tusks to Bulawayo on January 30 last year. The cops requested for a permit from the accused persons but they failed to produce one leading to their arrest.
The three accused persons implicated their accomplice Edward. Police conducted a search at his house and found two elephant tusks stashed in a black trunk leading to his arrest.
According to the facts, the recovered elephant tusks were sent to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority offices in Bulawayo for examination and identification and they were identified as those that were stolen from Mr Rodgers’ storeroom.
28 elephant tusks were recovered from the accused persons out of the 36 that were stolen. The Chronicle.