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Namibians continue to make up over 90% of arrested wildlife crime suspects – 2020 Report

Namibians continue to make up over 90% of arrested wildlife crime suspects – 2020 Report

Namibians continue to make up over 90% of arrested wildlife crime suspects in the country, according to the Combatting Wildlife Crime in Namibia Annual Report 2020 released last week.

According to the report, although wildlife crime is ultimately driven by demand in consumer countries, locals seem to be the bulk of the arrests.

The report states that arrests during 2020 included a number of high-level perpetrators, with significant international connections.

“The breadth of arrests in cases related to rhinos, ranging from poachers to abettors to local dealers and finally international kingpins, have had a significant knock-on effect. Arrests also continue to be made in older cases registered prior to 2020,” the report stated, adding that during 2020, 36 suspects were arrested in line with older cases.

According to the report, suspects from neighbouring countries made up all other nationalities recorded in 2020 and contrary to widespread beliefs, Asians did not feature in the ratio of nationalities recorded in 2020.

“This highlights the need for broader interventions to reduce poverty and strengthen social rejection of crime,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the report noted that the improved law enforcement and more effective disruption of criminal networks saw the decline in the number of rhinos poached in Namibia, with a figure of 31, as compared to 52 in 2019.

On the other hand, significantly more rhino horns were seized during 2020 than during 2019, the Combatting Wildlife Crime in Namibia Annual Report 2020 states.


 

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