Police have arrested 15 people on suspicion that they stole ivory.
Deputy National Police spokesperson, Thomeck Nyaude, said yesterday that the 15 were arrested in Mzimba, Mchinji and Blantyre during a sweeping exercise aimed at busting a syndicate of wildlife traders.
Nyaude said law enforcers from National Police headquarters and their Zambian counterparts took part in the exercise.
“The police will continue to organise such operations so that this practice of illegal wildlife trade should be brought to a halt. We also want to thank traditional leaders, mainly those around game reserves and national parks, for their tip-offs,’’ Nyaude said.
Some of the arrested suspects include Abdalla Sibambe from North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who was allegedly found with eight pieces of ivory weighing 23.60 kilogrammes, Traver Tsokota from Blantyre District, Rodrick Kaliati from Mulanje District, Laston Mafuta from Thyolo District and Malizani Kaliati from Zomba District.
The suspects, according to Nyaude, will be taken to court where they are expected to answer charges of illegal possession of wildlife trophies and dealing in wildlife species.