A 10-YEAR-OLD Harare boy on Monday unintentionally assisted police detectives in arresting his father who was being investigated on allegations of dealing in ivory, leading to the recovery of 10 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 15,2kg and valued at $3 800.
The juvenile is said to have assisted police with his father’s car keys after the latter had told the officers he was not aware of their whereabouts in a bid to prevent the officers from recovering the ivory from his car.
The suspect, Cleopas Tinarwo (49) of Warren Park, was yesterday arraigned before magistrate Tendai Mahwe on charges of unlawfully and without reasonable excuse being in possession of unmarked or unregistered raw elephant tusks without a permit contrary to the provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
He was remanded in custody to December 14 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
But, Tinarwo’s lawyer Kudzai Bangidza told the court his client had complaints against the police.
“My client was assaulted by police using fists and open hands upon his arrest and was denied food despite the same being brought to him by his relatives. If possible, I ask the court to hold an inquiry into the raised complaints,” Bangidza said.
Mahwe ruled: “The State is directed to investigate the assaults and other complaints raised by the defence and report to the court on his remand date. And it is also ordered that the accused should be examined by a doctor.”
According to the State papers, police went to Tinarwo’s house after a tip-off and found him present. The State alleges they searched his bedroom in his presence but found nothing and then asked to search his vehicle, but Tinarwo claimed he had no keys.
However, his luck ran out when his son arrived from school and surrendered the car keys to the police.
“At 3:30pm the accused person’s son (Tinarwo) came back from school and was asked by one detective to collect the car keys and he duly brought them,” the papers read.
The police searched the car’s boot from where they recovered the ivory pieces stashed in a sack. Samantha Dhlamini appeared for the State.