The Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri revealed that a police officer who was leading investigations into a consignment of 200 kilogrammes of ivory worth at least $2 million intercepted by security details at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in December last year, had died mysteriously.
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The consignment was destined for the Far East.
“Government is also looking into the case of the investigating officer of the case who died strangely in Mozambique when he was pursuing the case. We only know that he went there on personal business (and) he didn’t come back alive,” she said.
Officials from ZimParks recounted to the Daily News dramatic scenes that unfolded at the airport when the consignment — which was destined for the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, was intercepted.
The consignment was checked in under the name of one Ray, who reportedly took to his heels and vanished through the busy airport when he realised that the smuggling had not succeeded.
Subsequently, sources said, investigations into the bid to smuggle the ivory had to be halted a few days later after it became clear that a powerful force was involved.
But later, the investigations resumed and a report on that is now with Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“We only know now that the consignment had been checked in by a middle-aged man called Ray, of whom we don’t have any further details at the moment, but the net is closing in,” said ZimParks director-general Fulton Mangwanya.-Dailynews