Maun Magistrate Court has sentenced two men who were found in possession of 10 elephant tusks to fi ve years in prison each.
The two men, Moseramo Matlhare, 32 and Kangombe Ndara from Etsha 6 and Xhaoto villages respectively were found guilty of being in possession of tusks worth about P190 963.00 and sentenced to jail.
They were further fi ned P20 000 each or afurther two year jail term if they failed to pay the fi ne.
The Court heard that the two men were caught by the police with the tusks loaded at the back of their corolla in Maun on their way to meeting a potential customer.
Police told the court that the tusks weighed 152.3kg.
It is said that when they saw the police, the men tried to fl ee but were arrested.
The other two who were with them pleaded guilty to the charges and escaped jail with a P10 000 fi ne.
Passing the sentence, Chief Magistrate Mompati Taolo said he gave thema jail term because it was evident they wanted to profi t from the tusks.
The magistrate cautioned, “It is the responsibility of each person to protect wild animals because they are more important alive than dead.
The accused chose to kill fi ve of them so that they could be the only benefi ciaries.”
Chief Magistrate Taolo said stiff er sentences could also help to send a strong message to other poachers.
Both the tusks and the car were forfeited to the state and the convicts given 14 days to appeal the sentence.