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Ivory smugglers remanded in custody

Ivory smugglers remanded in custody

Niël Terblanché

THE two suspects who were arrested while attempting to sell two elephant tusks to undercover detectives in Walvis Bay was remanded in custody after their first appearance in the harbour town’s Magistrate’s Court.
Dirk Vermeulen and Edgar Clark made a swift appearance before Magistrate John Sindano where they were formally informed about the charges against them.
Vermeulen and Clark were arrested on Saturday during a sting operation executed by undercover detectives at the Gracemere Flats in Walvis Bay when the wanted to finalise a transaction of selling two elephant tusks to the officers.

Pictured: Ivory smugglers Dirk Vermeulen and Edgar Clark during their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court.

The accused persons were charged with possession of controlled wildlife products and trading in controlled wildlife products. The value of the two tusks found in their possession was still not determined.
Magistrate Sindano informed the accused persons that they were caherged with the Contravention of section 4 (1) (a) and (b) of controlled wildlife products and trade act 9 of 2008 and amended act 6 of 2017 on Saturday and indicated that it constitutes a very serious charge.
Prosecutor Tuihaleni Hilikuete indicated to the Court that the Sate opposes bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence and also indicated that the investigation into the matter is still at a very early stage.
The accused persons have since their arrest solicited the services of a legal representative who agreed to the terms of the court and indicated that her clients will bring a formal bail application to court on 19 September.
Magistrate Sindano remanded Vermeulen and Clark in custody and postponed the matter until 19 September to allow the police to investigate the matter further and for the accused persons to prepare for their formal bail application.

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