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    Mozambique: Police, customs officers nabbed for abetting ivory smuggling

    APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

    At least five Mozambican police officers and two others from the customs department have been suspended pending dismissal and are facing both disciplinary action and criminal charges in connection with their alleged role in the smuggling of rhino horns and elephants tusks out of the country, state radio reported on Sunday.

    Radio Mozambique quoted Maputo city police commander Bernardino Rafael as saying the accused, who were based at the Maputo International Airport, are being charged with facilitating the smuggling of large quantities of rhino horns and elephant tusks to Malaysia.

    A Mozambican national was arrested last month by customs service of Malaysia while attempting to enter Kuala Lumpur international Airport carrying 36 kilogrammes of partially processed ivory presumably smuggled from the southern African country.

    The suspect had travelled to Malaysia from Maputo via Addis Ababa.

    Mozambique has become a conduit for those smuggling ivory and rhino horn into Asia.

    As both species of African rhinoceros, the black and the white, are extinct in Mozambique, the rhino horns are believed to come from animals slaughtered by poachers in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

    There are also about 10,000 elephants left in Mozambique and they are under threat from poachers.


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