Tag Archives: Chinese national

Tanzania: Self-Confessed Poacher Files Against Sentence

Tanzania Daily News
2 April 2014

A CHINESE national, Yu Bo, who was recently jailed 20 years after his failure to pay a 9bn/- fine for unlawful possession of government trophies worth over 978m/-, has filed a notice of appeal to challenge the sentence passed against him.

He filed the notice of appeal at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, expressing his intention to appeal to the High Court to challenge the sentence given by Senior Resident Magistrate  Devota Kisoka on March 18, this year.

The magistrate convicted the Chinese poacher on his own plea of guilt. After the conviction, the magistrate imposed the severe sentence to serve as a lesson to other like-minded people.

“The accused person is sentenced to pay 9,781,204,900/-. In default, he should serve 20 years’ imprisonment,” the magistrate had declared after considering the mitigation factors presented by the convict seeking the court’s mercy.

Bo had told the court that it was his first time to be convicted in a criminal case and had several dependants. The prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi, on the other hand, sought for a severe sentence because the offence committed was serious.

Facts of the case show that the convict entered the country for business purposes on November 26, last year. Shortly after his arrival, he initiated communications with a syndicate of poachers within and outside Tanzania for the purpose of poaching elephants and other animals, including pangolins.

In the process, the convict and other poachers who are yet to be arrested managed to collect 81 elephant tusks and two pangolin scales which were eventually hidden in Mwenge area in Kinondoni district in the city.

The accused had no permit from the Director of Wildlife Division allowing him to possess the said ivory tusks and the pangolin scales. On December 30, last year, in the evening, the convict loaded the government trophies on a Mazda pick-up with registration No. T 218 BUY.

Covered with other various animal carvings, Bo then transported the said trophies to Dar es Salaam port with intent to ship them to the People’s Republic of China. On arrival at the gate of the port at around 20.30pm, he asked permission to go to one of the docked ships.

Before being granted permission, security officers on duty searched the motor vehicle and uncovered the said 81 elephant tusks and the two pangolin scales which were concealed in wooden boxes on board the pick-up.

Bo was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station for interrogation. During the session, the convict admitted being found with the government trophies and that he had not secured any permit.

Article at the following link:

Tanzania: Poachers Must Pay for Their Greed

Tanzania Daily News
20 March 2014

Poaching for elephant tusks and rhino horns in Tanzanian wildlife sanctuaries is such a lucrative business. All criminal poachers know this.

It is a money spinner that has enticed illegal hunters from as far afield as Somalia and China. For them, it is easy to wander into Tanzania’s National Parks, shoot elephants and rhinos, dislodge the tusks and horns and shunt them out of the country with little or no harassment at all, especially when you rope in corrupt local wildlife officials.

And of course, the price of the contraband is a complete rip-off especially in the Arab World or India. Poachers at home and abroad know this. Well, those who join the fray are seriously wrong. Tanzania is all out to flush out poachers to protect its wildlife come what may.

Poachers now pay a hefty price for their folly. Early this week, a Chinese national, one Yu Bo, was thrown into jail for 20 years after failing to pay a fine of 9bn/- for unlawful possession of government trophies worth more than 978m/-.

The convict pleaded guilty to the offence rather readily knowing that he could not go the distance in the legal wrangle. It is unthinkable that a Chinese national or any other foreigner should enter any of our  national parks and engage in poaching.

Senior Resident Magistrate Devota Kisoka told the offending Chinese man that she imposed a harsh sentence on him so it serves as deterrence against poaching in this country. She was right. Too many criminals are out there intent on poaching.

It is the greed for money that drives poachers into our game reserves. President Jakaya Kikwete told the nation recently that poaching has reached disheartening proportions. He said that the elephant population has plummeted to 13,084 from around 38,000 in 2009.

Indeed, poachers must be stopped in their tracks. Elephants, rhinos and other wild animals should be given chance to thrive. The president said that the nation was scaling up its anti-poaching campaigns. Yes, this is the action that must be taken drastically.

Former campaigns such as Kipepeo and Tokomeza made some gains but did not stem the rot. More than 2,000 suspected poachers were arrested and their weapons, including hunting rifles and ammunition were impounded. The criminals got a good hammering.

This was a move in the right direction but the mission was not accomplished fully. The poachers are out of their lair again and are gunning down elephants and rhinos with complete abandon. What is needed now is a sustainable anti-poaching campaign.

Article at the following link:

Tanzania: Chinese ‘Poacher’ Fails to Pay Sh9 Billion Fine, Jailed 20 Years

By Faustine Kapama, Tanzania Daily News

19 March 2014

A CHINESE national, Yu Bo (45), was jailed for 20 years after failing to pay a 9bn/ fine for possessing government trophies worth over 978m/- unlawfully.

The verdict has come at a time when the government has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the effort to curb poaching in the country. Senior Resident Magistrate Devota Kisoka of the Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court in Dar es Salaam convicted the Chinese on his own plea of guilty.

She said that she was imposing such severe sentence to serve as a lesson to others who might be tempted to engage in poaching or act as accomplices to the crime.

“The accused person is sentenced to pay 9,781,204,900/-. In default, he should serve 20 years imprisonment,” the magistrate declared after considering the mitigation factors and plea for leniency.

Bo had told the court that it was his first time to be convicted in a criminal case, further saying that he had several dependants. But the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi, prayed for a  severe sentence “due to the seriousness of the offence.”

Case details had it that the convict entered the country for business purposes on November 26, last year. Shortly after his arrival, he initiated communications with a syndicate of poachers within and outside Tanzania for the purpose of poaching elephants and other animals, including ground pangolins.

In the process, the convict and other poachers who are yet to be arrested managed to collect 81 elephant tusks and two ground pangolin scales, which were eventually hidden at Mwenge in Kinondoni District.

The accused had neither authority nor permit from the Director of Wildlife Division allowing him to possess the said ivory tusks and the ground pangolin scales. On the evening of December 30, last year, Bo loaded the government trophies on a pick-up vehicle.

Together with a variety of wood carvings, Bo then ferried the said trophies to the Dar es Salaam Port with intent to ship them to the People’s Republic of China. On arrival at port’s gate at around 20:30pm, he sought permission to go to one of the ships.

Article at the following link:

Very few poachers go to jail, new study shows (Kenya)

Frankline Sunday, Standard Digital News
January 30th 2014

Only 4 per cent of offenders convicted of wildlife crimes in Kenya go to jail. This is according to a study conducted by wildlife conservation groups on wildlife-related crime and prosecution in Kenyan courts, which will be presented to the office of the Chief Justice today. The study, which analysed court records of cases pertaining to wildlife-related crime in 18 courts, reveals that poaching cases are treated with leniency with the majority of perpetrators paying token fines despite the severity of their crime. “Between January 2008 and June 2013, a total of 743 pending and closed wildlife-related cases were registered in criminal registries of several law courts across the country and of these only 4 per cent of the offenders convicted of wildlife crimes went to jail,” reads the report in part. The report further states that in cases of offences against elephants and rhinos, which can potentially attract jail sentences of up to 10 years, only 7 per cent of offenders were jailed. Lead author According to lead author of the report Dr Paula Kahumbu, who is also the executive director of Wildlife Direct, poachers in the country are getting more brazen owing to the lenient fines. “We make it easy for poachers and dealers to operate in our country and this leniency in our courts has led to a culture of impunity within the criminal fraternity,” she said. “Kenya has become a safe haven for international criminal cartels that control poaching and trafficking in our country and we hope that this study triggers an immediate government response to address the problem,” she said. The new findings come barely two weeks after the enactment of Kenya’s new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013. The new law, which came in effect on January 10, has increased the penalties to be meted out to convicted poachers and traffickers particularly those found dealing with endangered species.

Some of the provisions of the new law include a minimum fine of Sh20 million or life imprisonment for offenders against elephants, rhinos and other endangered species. Two days ago, a Chinese national convicted of ivory smuggling was the first to be sentenced under the new law. Tang Yong Jian, who was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with 3.4kg of ivory in his suitcase pleaded guilty to the offence and was handed a fine of Sh20 million or a seven-year prison sentence. According to the report, however, corruption particularly among government wildlife custodians makes it difficult to rein in on poachers and public officials who collude with poachers. “Though there were frequent news reports of KWS officers being arrested for involvement in these crimes, the study did not find a single verdict that highlighted this problem,” reads the report.

Chinese arrested with 3kg ivory at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya)

By CYRUS OMBATI, Standard Digital

January 19th 2014
NAIROBI, KENYA: A Chinese national was Saturday arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being found with 3.4 kilograms of ivory.
The 40-year-old man was found with the lower ivory while from Napula, Mozambique to Guangzhou, China. His plane had touched down at JKIA and was to connect when he was seized.
Police said the ivory was in his luggage and had been packaged in disguise as cups.
Airport CID boss Joseph Ngisa said the arrest was made on Saturday evening and that the man will appear in court today to face charges of being in possession of the ivory.
“We are seeing an increase of these suspects originating Mozambique with the ivory but we are keen to stop the practice,” said Ngisa.
His arrest came two days after another Chinese national was arrested with ivory, leopards’ skin and multiple passports. He is believed to be behind a number of cases of smuggling of people and ivory in the country, police said.
The 41-year-old suspect was arrested at an apartment Thursday with goods valued at millions of shillings in the posh Riverside estate, Nairobi.
This comes even as Kenya and Chinese government are collaborating to fight poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.
The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s. Ivory trade is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). East African nations have recently recorded an increase in poaching incidents.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicines.
Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 elephants, whose survival is threatened by poaching and the illegal trade in game trophies, as well as a rising human population that is causing habitat loss. To demonstrate the seriousness and commitment to end the menace, China recently crushed six tones of the ivory.