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Maputo – Authorities in Mozambique arrested five police officers for colluding with a poacher in the illegal sale of a rhino horn, the state news agency reported on Thursday.

© Karl Stromayer
© Karl Stromayer

Rhino poaching is on the rise across southern Africa because the horn is much sought after for Asian traditional medicine. In South Africa alone, 1,200 rhinos were poached last year.

Police came across the poacher carrying a horn at the Limpopo National Park but, instead of arresting him, they helped him sell it and pocketed half of the $24,500 he made.

With most of Mozambique’s rhino extinct, police believe he poached the animal across the border in South Africa, where 90% of the world’s rhino reside.

The officers and the poacher were arrested a day later after a tip-off, said the press report. Police are still searching for the person who purchased the horn.

In Namibia, the local press agency reported that a court has refused to grant bail to a Chinese national believed to be a central figure in the country’s largest rhino horn smuggling network.

Wang Hui is believed to be linked to three other Chinese nationals who were arrested after they were caught with 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin hidden in their luggage as they tried to travel to Hong Kong, the Namibian Press Agency reported.

The men will appear in court again later this month.



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