Microsoft co-founder to appear in Botswana court over smuggling

Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen. MTOKOZISI DUBE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Microsoft founder and American billionaire Paul Allen will appear in a Botswana court in October for allegedly attempting to smuggle giraffe bones to the US.

According to the King County Superior Court, a safari guide was arrested and detained in Maun, Botswana’s tourism capital, by customs officials after the Microsoft co-founder and current Seahawks owner (Allen) and his sister Jody, tried to sneak home the bones while on safari in Botswana.

Court papers charge that a review of the trip to Botswana by the Allens had revealed a pattern of illegality.

“The acts I have witnessed and had to engage in to perform my job to the expectations of my principals leave me with no choice other than to constructively terminate my employment,” reads a statement by one of Allen’s bodyguards.

While giraffe bones may be legally exported from Botswana and imported into the US, there were regulations to be followed which Mr Allen is said to have tried to circumvent.

Meanwhile, Mr Allen is presently involved in an expensive legal dispute over concession rights in Botswana’s Okavango.

A regular visitor to Botswana, especially at the Okavango Delta, Mr Allen reportedly owns a holiday house in Botswana’s fifth largest town, Maun, as well as a hotel in the Tuli Block, which he co-owns with a consortium of wealthy businessmen.

One of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Mr Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in the 1970s, before a fallout that saw the former leave to start a separate business empire.

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