A TEAM of Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and security agencies has arrested 35 people for various offences in an operation called ‘Hurricane Storm.’
ZAWA public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that 29 men and six women were arrested for alleged possession of game meat, home-made guns, illegal fishing in protected areas and possession of various quantities of cannabis.
Mr Kalembwe said several kilogrammes of fish, canoes and paddling sticks were recovered in the operation.
“Operation hurricane storm first conducted its activities in Lochinvar National Park on the southern flank of Kafue River and in Blue Lagoon National Park on the northern flank of the same river,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe said the operation was carried out in three days though the initial plan was to conduct it for two days starting from June 18 to 20.
“Logistical and organisational challenges necessitated a one-day extension. The operatives of the operation hurricane storm were split into two major groups with one operating in Lochinvar National Park and the other one operating in Blue Lagoon National Park,” Mr Kalembwe said.
He said the team included officers from Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Zambia Police Service, Immigrations, Office of the President and ZAWA officers.
The operation is designed to respond to wildlife related crimes and was conceived following the results of the recent wet season survey, which indicated a decline in numbers of the Kafue Lechwe, largely as a result of poaching.