3 arrested over pangolin scales

Source: 3 arrested over pangolin scales | Newsday (News)

Three people have been arrested after they were found selling pangolin scales.

The trio Musa Musaniwa Masundasora (61), Ellen Zindoga (34) and Desia Chikwiro (29) appeared before Magistrate Dennis Mangosi last Saturday charged with unlawful possession.

The trio were remanded in custody to August 3. They were advised to approach the High Court for bail.

The State alleges that on July 21, 2021, at around 1345 hours, detectives from Criminal Investigation Department, Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit, Harare received information that the accused persons were in possession of pangolin scales at Africa Unity Square, Harare which they were selling without permit.

It is alleged that the detectives, acting on the information, pounced on the trio, posing as potential buyers of the scales.

One of the detectives called one of the accused and negotiated to buy the scales for US$2000. The detective then advised the accused person that he would send his colleague to collect the scales and hand him over the money.

A team comprising Detective Assistant Hector Mufara, Detective Sergeant Chimunya and Detective Constable Lunga proceeded to the Africa Unity Square with Detective Assistant Mufara driving a vehicle whilst the other detectives were on foot surveillance.

Mufara then parked his vehicle close to Africa Unity Square. Masundasora came to the vehicle and the detective told him he had brought US$2000 for the pangolin scales they were selling.

Masundasora advised Mafara that Zindoga was on his way from Market Square area with the scales. He rushed to intercept Zindoga so that they quickly finalize the deal.

After about 30 minutes, Masundasora came back in the company of Zindoga and Chikwiro holding a handbag in her right hand. The trio got inside the vehicle and Zindoga produced a paper from inside her handbag that contained the scales.

Mafara then signalled other detectives to pounce and a swift reaction from the backup team resulted in the arrest of the accused persons.

Anesu Chirenje appeared for the State.

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