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File photo: RM
Two hundred and seventeen ivory tusks have disappeared from the warehouses of the Provincial Forestry and Wildlife Services, having vanished from the same place where in 2017, another 80 tusks disappeared.
Niassa Public Prosecutor Francisco said on Wednesday that three sector employees are in police custody in connection with the case, one of whom is the head of the Provincial Forestry and Wildlife Services.
It is not known when the robbery occurred, but the discovery of the disappearance was reported on July 23 by a central supervisory team.
“In the accomplishment of their mission, the Niassa Provincial Forestry and Wildlife Services warehouse was inspected. It was supposed to contain ivory tusks related to the remainder of the ones stolen in 2017. On opening the warehouse, it was only possible to find one single ivory tip, weighing 0.86 kg, and twelve empty sacks. In view of this, the respective order was filed, which gave rise to case No. 192/01/B/2018, filed on July 22, 2018. Taking into account the indictment in the case, three public servants were arrested, one of whom is the chief of the provincial Forestry and Wldlife Services in Niassa,” he said.
Albano says he does not rule out the possibility of organised crime involvement, especially since the first case is still under investigation.