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Zimbabwe ivory dealers convicted of illegal possession of 10 elephant tusks

Two Zimbabwean ivory dealers have been convicted by the Francistwon Magistrates Court in Botswana after pleading guilty to the illegal possession of 10 elephant tusks.

Admire Gwishiri and Gift Ndlovu were convicted on their second appearance before Francistown regional magistrate Gaedupe Makgato following their arrest as they were driving towards Francistown along the N 1 highway from Zimbabwe on February 11.

Acting on a tip-off, detectives from the Narcotics, Fauna and Investigations Unit in Francistown searched the car and found the tusks which have a combined weight of 47,36 kilogrammes and a market value of 80,000 pula (R110,500).

A third suspect, who was driving the vehicle, was released after being cleared by the police. The other two were also found in possession of Zimbabwean passport with stamps which showed that they had entered Botswana earlier in the same day.

According to the State outline, they failed to produce proof that they are licensed to deal in ivory and could not account for where they obtained it. The two were due back in court On Thursday for sentencing. – African News Agency (ANA)

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