A CHINESE national Wang Yang and his three local accomplices including a police officer stationed in Harare appeared in court on Wednesday charged with illegal possession of rhino horns worth US$600 000.
Yang, who works at Mutoko Gold Mine and his alleged accomplices Jabulani Muthimukhulu, Weston Useya and police officer Cleopas Tirishure Kacheya appeared before magistrate Dennis Mangosi who remanded them in custody to February 6.
The quartet is being charged for possession of a specially protected animal.
It is the State’s case that sometime in October 2022, Useya and Kacheya acquired a rhinoceros horn from Vosta Masasa in Chipinge. Masasa allegedly claimed to have received it from Johane Guzha who had poached the endangered animal from Chipinge Safaris.
The accused allegedly brought the rhinoceros horn to Harare and disposed of it.
On January 1, 2023 detectives from CID minerals, flora and fauna unit Harare got wind of the transanction and nabbed Useya who then implicated Yang, Muthimukhulu and Kacheya in the deal.
The detectives raided Muthimukhulu’s Borrowdale home and recovered a pangolin scale which he is being separately charged for.
During interrogation, Muthimukhulu claimed Useya had brought the rhino horn, and implicated Yang as the buyer.
The detectives lured him to Useya’s house, leading to the recovery of two pieces of horns from his car. Yang told police he had bought the horns from Muthimukhulu and Useya.
Yang then led detectives to his place of residence in Hillside where four plastic bags with several pieces of rhino horns.
The recovered horns with a combined weight of 12,4kgs were valued at US$600 000.
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