Start Asia In Tanzania, the „queen of ivory“ sentenced to fifteen years in prison

In Tanzania, the „queen of ivory“ sentenced to fifteen years in prison

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PixaFan78 / Pixabay

Present in the country since the 1970s, the Chinese Yang Fenlan is involved in the trafficking of 860 elephant tusks between 2000 and 2014.

China’s Yang Fenlan, nicknamed the „queen of ivory“ , was sentenced Tuesday, February 19 to fifteen years in prison by a Tanzanian court for its role in the trafficking of 860 elephant tusks between 2000 and 2014. Aged 69 She has been in Tanzania since the 1970s and has been found guilty of playing the role of a local poaching network with international buyers for more than a decade. In the same trial, two Tanzanian businessmen were also sentenced to 15 years‘ imprisonment by the Kisutu court in Dar es Salaam, the country’s economic capital.

The three co-defendants, who were facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, were also fined a collective fine of some $ 13 million (more than 11 million euros), double the market value of the defenses they have traded. If they do not pay this sum, they will serve an additional two years in prison.

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„The three defendants were working hand in hand,“ Judge Huruma Shaidi said, according to which the two businessmen „collected elephant tusks from different parts of the country to hand them over“ to Yang Fenlan, who was at the time of her arrest, in 2015, the Vice President of the China-Africa Business Council of Tanzania. It has several restaurants in Dar es Salaam.

 Chinese Yang FenlanAbout 30,000 elephants killed per year
„Today is a great day for Tanzania,“ reacted on its Facebook page Protected Area Management Solutions (PAMS), one of whose leaders, the South African Wayne Lotter, was killed in August 2017 in Dar es Salaam by strangers. According to his colleagues, Mr. Lotter paid for his fight.

Already, in 2015, the arrest of Yang Fenlan was hailed by wildlife advocates, some referring to „the most important arrest“ of recent years in East Africa in the fight against ivory trafficking. and harboring hope that „corrupt officials“ would also be brought to justice.

Read also In Tanzania, Wayne Lotter was murdered like the elephants he was trying to protect
The illegal ivory trade is fueled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks are used in traditional medicine and ornamentation, which decimates pachyderm populations. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the African elephant population has recorded its largest fall in twenty-five years: the continent has about 415,000 specimens, or 111,000 less than during the last decade. And the massacre continues at the vertiginous pace of about 30,000 elephants a year.

Tanzania, one of the countries with the largest elephant population on the African continent, is also one of the most affected by this problem. A recent census noted that the pachyderm population decreased by 60% between 2009 and 2014.