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Wildlife, Police Officers caged for unlawful possession of live pangolin

• Wildlife Police Officer and Zambia Police Officer sentenced to five years imprisonment for unlawful possession of a live pangolin.
• They were nabbed on 7th July 2018 in Lusaka while attempting to sell the live animal.
• Pangolins are unique, scaly mammals, which help to keep soil fertile by controlling insects.

The Lusaka Subordinate Court has sentenced a Wildlife Police Officer from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and an Officer from the Zambia Police Service to five years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of a live pangolin.

Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe disclosed to Money FM News that 42 year old Bertha Katanda and John Pende 54, were jointly charged with two other persons for Unlawful Possession of the Protected Animal contrary to section 130 (1) Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015.

Mr. Kalembwe said the two were nabbed on 7th July 2018 in Lusaka while attempting to sell the live animal, adding that two other suspects in the matter were acquitted.

He stated that the jailing of the two officers attests that when it comes to wildlife crime, no one is above the law.

“The Department of National Parks and Wildlife will not tolerate illegal activities and will hold anyone found wanting to account, even within their ranks.”

“Under the Zambia Wildlife Act No 14 of 2015, anyone found in illegal possession of pangolins, their scales or other body parts, is liable upon conviction to a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment, without the option of paying a fine,” Mr. Kalembwe said.

Pangolins are unique, scaly mammals, which help to keep soil fertile by controlling insects.

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