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.