Pangolin dealers appear in court

TWO Nyanga men who thought they had struck a pangolin deal worth thousands of United States dollars ran out of luck after they fell into a trap orchestrated by police detectives resulting in their arrest.
The two, Itai Nyamuzinga (36) and James Mandikonza (47) appeared in court this Friday and were remanded out of custody to the 14th of this month on ZWL$350 bail each.
The pair is charged with contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act which prohibits the keeping or selling of protected animals.
The state alleged that on the 30th of last month police detectives received a tip-off that the accused persons were pangolin dealers and set up a trap.
The court heard that the detectives approached the pair and their accomplice who is still at large and made a deal to buy two pangolins.
It is alleged that the accused drove with the detectives to Fombe village where they wanted to make the transactions.
However, upon arrival, the accused informed the purported buyers that the pangolins had died and they would make arrangements for other pangolins to be availed the following day.
The state alleged that the following day, the accused availed two pangolins and indicated they were being sold for USD700.00 for the large one and USD1 300.00 for the small one.
The detectives then introduced themselves and managed to arrest the pair while their accomplice fled.The type of pangolin found in Zimbabwe is the Ground Pangolin, these can weigh up to 20kg. It is an endangered species being poached for its scales which are believed to be useful for medicinal purposes. Globally all eight pangolin species are increasingly threatened with extinction.