Maputo, 27 Apr (AIM) – Mozambique’s National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) has detained red-handed a forty-year-old man in the central city of Beira city, caught in the possession of a leopard head and skin.
The detention happened a week after another 38 year-old man, in the same region, was caught red-handed in possession of four teeth and 14 claws of lions.
According to the SERNIC spokesperson in Sofala, Alfeu Sitoe, the man was caught when he was trying to escape from the authorities, although he denies any involvement in poaching.
“He accuses his friend, who is still on the run. Work is under way to detain other people in connection with this case”, said Sitoe.
According to Sitoe, cited in Thursday’s issue of the Beira daily “Diário de Moçambique”, the police are looking for the man who showed an interest in buying the trophies.
“Everything indicates that the leopard was killed in Marromeu district (on the south bank of the Zambezi river), the same place of origin as the detained man”, the spokesperson stressed.
Despite the possibility of lengthy prison terms, poaching in central Mozambique has been on the increase lately. In early April, in Zumbo district, in the western province of Tete, two men were detained in the possession of ten elephant tusks that they were trying to sell.
In November, 21 tusks were seized, in the Tete districts of Magoe, Cahora Bassa and Moatize.