University student gets 9 years in jail after being caught selling pangolin skin


Chipinge men sentenced to nine years in jail for possession of pangolin scales

Two individuals from Chipinge have been sentenced to an effective nine years in jail after being found guilty of possessing and attempting to sell pangolin scales worth US$6,000. Munashe Maposa (23) and Oswell Chingwara (21) were convicted by Harare magistrate Ms Ruth Moyo, while their accomplice Vincent Sigauke remains at large.

During the trial conducted by Harare magistrate Ms Ruth Moyo, it was revealed that Maposa, a university student, and his co-accused, who are unemployed, were in possession of pangolin skin. The prosecution, led by Ms Belinda Chimuka, presented evidence that on March 2, detectives from the CID MFFU Harare received information about an individual seeking a buyer for a pangolin trophy.

Detectives went there posing as pangolin trophy buyers and one of them contacted Maposa.

He then invited the purported buyer to meet him at Corner George Silundika Avenue and First Street, Harare.

Detective Assistant Inspector Banhu drove and parked at the agreed place and remained in the car.

The court heard Maposa and his two accomplices came to Danhu’s car and entered inside for negotiations.

The two negotiated to sell the pangolin trophy for US$ 6000, got out of the vehicle and went to the nearby shops to get the pangolin trophy.

They came back, now three in number, with Chingwara holding a suitcase whilst Maposa and Sigauke were following.

Maposa then entered and sat at the front and Chingwara handed over the suitcase to Sigauke who took it into the car.

Chingwara and Sigauke sat at the back.

Banhu asked to see the pangolin trophy and Sigauke opened the blue suitcase and took out a black and yellow overall which had the pangolin trophy in it.

Upon seeing the pangolin trophy, Banhu signalled other detectives to close in.

The court heard the other detectives swiftly came and identified themselves as police officers by producing their service identity cards.

The accused persons were asked to produce a permit or licence that authorised them to possess the pangolin trophy but they had none leading to their arrest.

Parks and Wildlife officials were called and confirmed that it was indeed a pangolin trophy valued at US$5 000 and an assay report was issued.

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