- BDF Soldiers and DIS operative arrested for poaching.
Hardly before the ink had dried on President Ian Khama’ speech on how poaching has become a menace to the tourism industry, two Botswana Defence Force soldiers and a DIS operative were arrested for poaching.
The accused officers, a major stationed at the Sir Seretse Khama barracks clinic, a Lance corporal at unit 177 and a DIS sergeant at unit 194 were caught by their colleagues in possession of two slaughtered Gemsboks in the Trans Frontier park recently.
Gemsboks are the main attraction to the Trans Frontier Park which is an amalgamation of Kalahari Gemsbok national park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana covering 3.6 million hectares.
‘’The sergeant is normally deployed at Directorate of Intelligence and is from that area.
They were caught by a team of soldiers from the commandant intelligence and handed over to the police,’’an inside source revealed
Confirming the arrest the BDF said in a statement:”It is true that three members of the BDF were arrested over the weekend on allegations of poaching at Trans-frontier Park. The matter is being investigated by the Botswana Police Services.
Tsabong police station commander, Mokolobetsi Marata said: ‘’Yes we have in custody three soldiers who were arrested in possession of two dead gemsbok on Saturday at KD 15 in Trans frontier park. They are from Kanye, Phitshane and Tsabong respectively.Two are aged 37 while the other one is 41.’’
Marata further stated that the men were still to appear before the Tsabong magistrate court and if found guilty they could be sentenced to five years imprisonment and a P5000 fine.’’
The police boss noted that poaching was a serious problem in the Kgagadi area and this was the second case to be reported since beginning of the year, adding that in the past they have had major concerns about the poaching of lion cubs, which were sold in South Africa.