Tanzanian arrested with tusks from 117 elephants

accreditation
(iStock)
(iStock)

A Tanzanian man has been arrested after authorities found a stash of ivory buried under his house, estimated to come from around 117 elephants, authorities said Thursday.

The suspect, who had been sought by authorities since 2016, had in his possession 338 pieces of elephant tusk, and 75 whole tusks, the minister of natural resources, Hamisi Kigwangalla, said in a statement.

He was arrested along with seven alleged accomplices, and the tusks are believed to have come from Tanzania and Mozambique.

"Until his arrest on Tuesday, he was unable to move this stock, because we have become extremely vigilant," said Kigwangalla.

"I am giving a period of grace of one month for any person in possession of elephant tusks to hand them in to authorities without facing prosecution."

Since 2016, around 1 000 poachers, some heavily armed, have been arrested in Tanzania whose elephant population plunged 60 percent between 2009 and 2014 due to poaching.

In February a Tanzanian court sentenced Chinese citizen Yang Fenlan - dubbed the "Ivory Queen" - to 15 years in jail for her role in trafficking tusks from more than 400 elephants.

Poaching has seen the population of African elephants fall by 110 000 over the past decade to just 415 000 animals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The slaughter is being fuelled especially by demand in Asia, where ivory is used for jewellery and ornamentation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
With Faf de Klerk out injured, who should start at scrumhalf for the Springboks against Wales on 6 November?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Herschel Jantjies
33% - 396 votes
Cobus Reinach
64% - 778 votes
Grant Williams
3% - 39 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.71
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.25
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.08
+0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.02
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.6%
Gold
1,807.75
+0.9%
Silver
24.57
+1.0%
Palladium
2,069.16
+2.3%
Platinum
1,063.00
+2.0%
Brent-ruolie
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,446
-0.1%
All Share
66,980
-0.1%
Resource 10
63,455
+0.8%
Industrial 25
85,827
-1.0%
Financial 15
13,901
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE