FIVE Gokwe men will forever rue the day they attempted to sell a live pangolin after they were sold out and arrested.
The five appeared in court on Monday after they were arrested by Gokwe detectives acting on a tip-off.
Tawanda Ngara (33), Phillip Murimira (39), Innocent Mungoro (38), Moses Muguti (35) and Clemence Mukumirwa (33) were all arraigned before Gokwe magistrate Mr Musaiona Shortgame facing charges of selling a specially protected animal without a licence.
They were remanded in custody to 17 September for setting of a trial date after they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecuting, Mr Maxwell Tapfira told the court that on the 1 September, the quintet attempted to sell the animal.
Police received a tip-off to the effect that the accused persons were in possession of a live pangolin and intended to sell it.
Acting on the tip-off, a team comprising Gokwe-CID, MBCU, Parks and Wildlife officials launched an investigation on the matter.
The team then obtained Ngaraa��s contacts which they used to contact the group and masqueraded as potential buyers.
Arrangements were made that the two groups meet at Galliver area along Gokwe-Chitekete road for the completion of the deal.
Upon arrival, the detectives spotted a Toyota Granvia which was parked and they surrounded the car.
They then identified themselves before searching the car.
They found the pangolin neatly tucked in a plastic dish and put in a brown cotton bale.
The pangolin, weighing 9,77 kilogrammes, was seized by the Parks and Wildlife management officials who were part of the investigation team.