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Photos: Diário de Moçambique
A 43-year-old man is being held by police in Marromeu, Sofala, after being caught with ivory from six six elephant tusks.
The man was arrested on February 5th in the northern region of Sofala province in the administrative post of Chupanga, 50 kilometres from district headquarters. He was discovered in a car carrying people and goods to Caia district, where he was supposedly going to sell the items.
Amaral Guilherme Oficial told our reporter that he is a corn and bean merchant in Marromeu. He said that two individuals, whose names he did not mention, appeared and tried to sell him the tusks. He inspected the product and accepted the proposed price.
“A group of men brought the ivory to my stall at the village market. I researched the product and its resale value and accepted their offer and bought the tusks for 40,000 meticais. It’s the first time I’ve bought ivory, and I’ve been arrested. I was detained on my way to Caia to look for a buyer,” he said.
Asked how much he intended to sell the tusks for, Amaral was reluctant to specify, claiming that negotiations between him and the alleged interested party had not yet been concluded.
When pressed, Oficial eventually said he hoped to sell each tusk for 40,000 meticais.
Sofala police spokesman Daniel Macuácua said that the arrest came about thanks to a tip-off from a member of the public and the prompt intervention of law and order officials, who followed the vehicle carrying the merchandise.
“We already had some clues as to this operation. So, on the day, we followed the vehicle carrying the ivory. A search revealed 12 pieces of ivory, comprising six complete tusks. A case has already been opened against the perpetrator, who will be prosecuted,” he said.Source: Diário de Moçambique