THE Namibian police in the Ohangwena Region in collaboration with their Angolan counterparts are looking for a suspect who tried to smuggle two pangolins into Namibia while going through the Oshikango border post.
Pangolins are protected species under international laws.
According to police spokesperson Abner Kaume Itumba, the two pangolins were hidden in two bags.
The suspected smuggler gave the bags to an unsuspecting 29-year-old woman, having instructed her to enter Namibia with the bags while he himself pretended to go to the immigration office to have his passport stamped.
“In reality he was following the woman from a safe distance and disappeared immediately after noticing that the police and custom officials have discovered the pangolins. That is the well-known tactic used by smugglers,” said Itumba.
Itumba said that two ID cards bearing the same name but with two different nationalities – one Angolan and one Namibian – were found in the bags.
The Namibian police are now working together with their Angolan counterparts to trace the suspect.
The woman was interrogated but was released afterwards.
Many unemployed local residents – mostly women – make a living at the Oshikango border post by helping Angolans carry their goods across the border.