Npr-Chinese 'Ivory Queen' Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail In Tanzania
A convicted Chinese trafficker known as the "ivory queen" has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by a Tanzanian court.
Yang Fenglan, who has lived in Tanzania on and off for decades and operated a Chinese restaurant, was found guilty of working with two Tanzanian men to smuggle more than 800 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004, as Reuters reported.
Yang and the men – Salivius Matembo and Manase Philemon – were convicted of "leading an organised criminal gang," according to the wire service. They have denied the accusations.
She was initially arrested in 2015, following what the BBC termed a "high speed car chase" with Tanzanian authorities.
Investigators say Yang "was a key link between poachers in East Africa and buyers in China for more than a decade," the broadcaster reported.
China has been a major driver of demand of ivory, which has been disastrous for Africa's elephants. A recent major census of the African elephant population found that it decreased by nearly a third between 2007 and 2014. China started banning the domestic sale of ivory in 2018 after pressure from environmental groups.
This particular case "was viewed as a major test of Africa-wide efforts to hold key trafficking figures accountable for the mass killing of elephants to supply ivory to illegal markets, including in China," as The Associated Press reported.
Huge turnout of CBFP members in Shanghai, China: Minister of State and CBFP Facilitator François-Xavier de Donnea strengthens dialogue between Congo Basin and key Chinese actors of the Forestry-timber sector
Read more … Huge turnout of CBFP members in Shanghai, China: Minister of State and CBFP Facilitator François-Xavier de Donnea strengthens dialogue between Congo Basin and key Chinese actors of the Forestry-timber sector