Tanzanian authorities have prosecuted five other suspects in connection with the murder of anti-poaching activist Wayne Lotter.
The suspects are charged with conspiring to commit murder and for first degree murder as well. The charges were read but the case will be heard at a later date by the Tanzanian High Court and so no plea was entered by the suspects.
Magistrate adjourned the case and pushed it to March 6 when it will be brought up for another mentioning.
The five suspects are the latest arrests in the case that shook the anti poaching world and now the total number of persons arrested in connection with the murder has reached eight.
Media has quoted PAMS Foundation, a non governmental organisation that supports anti-poaching efforts across East Africa that Wayne co-founded, acknowledging the arrests and complimenting Tanzanian police for their efforts to bring the murders to justice.
We congratulate the Tanzanian Police Force for the arrest and charging of these individuals. Wayne was a visionary conservationist working with indefatigable determination to save Tanzania’s wildlife and we are relieved that some of the perpetrators responsible for his untimely death have been apprehended and are being brought to justice – PAMs
Get To Know Wayne Lotter
Wayne Lotter was a founding member and chairman of the PAMS Foundation. He tragically passed away on the 16th August 2017 in the line of duty. Wayne had a Masters Degree in Nature Conservation and 23 years of professional experience in wildlife management, conservation and environmental management. He was a community liaison and worked in government, corporate and NGO sectors.
The born South African Lotter died at 51. He was shot dead in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam on Aug. 16, 2017.
Lotter worked with one of the country’s top anti-poaching unit that are responsible for some major arrests of high profile poachers and smugglers.
The team are behind the arrest of the Ivory Queen, Yang Feng Glan, a Chinese who is responsible for a major smuggling ring to Asian markets.
She is currently on trial for illegally trafficking 706 elephant tusks between 2000 and 2014. She continues to deny all charges and is fighting the case.
According to Interpol, Tanzania is the top source of illegal ivory in East Africa. Up to 30 elephants are killed in Tanzania every single day, amounting to more than 10,000 kills annually.
Media further reports, “the Elephant Crisis Fund, a joint initiative of Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network, said that with the help of PAMS, Tanzania’s National and Transnational Serious Crime Investigations Unit had arrested 1,398 poachers and ivory traffickers in recent years, 78% of whom were convicted.”
“This has been the first significant win against a wave of poaching that slashed Tanzania’s elephant population by 60% between 2007 and 2016,” the organization said.