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Tanzanians arresting foreigner over smuggling of 47 tortoises

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Tuesday they were holding an Egyptian national in connection with an attempt to smuggle 47 live tortoises out of the country.

The authorities said the Egyptian was arrested on Sunday at the Zanzibar International Airport where he was in transit abroad.

Mulhat Yusuf, the Zanzibar Aviation Authority public relations officer, told a news conference that security officers at the airport discovered that a luggage belonging to the Egyptian had live tortoises.

"He was arrested and taken to the airport police station for further questioning and legal action," she said.

In Dec. 2018, Tanzanian police announced the seizure of 114 tortoises that were about to be smuggled to European countries and the United States through South Africa.

Singida Regional Police Commander Sweetbert Njewike said that a suspect was found with the 114 tortoises, packed in different bags, while travelling to Tanzania’s southern highland region of Mbeya from the lake zone region of Mwanza.


South Africans welcomes arrest of suspects for biggest rhino horn smuggling

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of two men for alleged involvement in what is believed to be the biggest rhino horn smuggling ever recorded in the country.

The case involved the smuggling of 180 rhino horns weighing a total of 150 kilograms, the Ministry of Environmental Affairs said.

The two suspects, Petrus Steyn (61) and Clive John Melville (57), were arrested near Hartebeespoort Dam in the North West province during an operation by various law enforcement agencies, including the Hawks Serious Organized Crime Endangered Species Unit, the Special Task Force and the Tracker SA and Vision Tactical, ministry spokesperson Albi Modise said.

The operation followed a tip-off that a vehicle from a coastal province was carrying a considerable amount of horns destined for Southeast Asian markets, according to Modise.

Without the cooperation and collaboration of the general public, South Africa will not be able to win the battle against rhino poaching and the smuggling of rhino horns, the spokesperson said.

The joint operation is yet another indication of the success of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa, the government’s collaborative anti-poaching approach, Modise said.

The suspects appeared briefly in the Brits Magistrate’s Court in the province on Monday on charges related to the illegal trade in rhino horn, said Modise.

The case has been postponed to April 26 this year for a bail application.

South Africa, home to more than 80 percent of the world’s rhino population, bears the brunt of rhino poaching.

Between 2013 and 2017, more than 1,000 rhinos were killed each year, according to official figures.

The government has warned that the country’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching.


Endangered species suffer from Habitat Loss around the world



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