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Zimbabwe: High Court to Rule On Ivory Smuggler’s Bail Application

The Herald
18 November 2013

A High Court Judge is tomorrow expected to make a ruling on the bail application of a Chinese man who was arrested last month on allegations of trying to smuggle out of Zimbabwe raw ivory and ivory artefacts worth more than US$28 000. On Thursday last week, Justice Amy Tsanga requested Chen Guoling to submit certain documents before a determination could be made.

Guoliang’s lawyer Mr Tendai Toto on Friday submitted proof of employment from Chen’s employers, Old Park Investment, a local firm, in the form of a confirmation letter.

There was also another confirmation from the Zimbabwe Finance Business Association to the effect that Chen was a recognised engineer.

The immigration department further confirmed that Chen’s residence permit was still valid and set to expire next year.

Guoliang of number 4 Warren View Close, Sentosa, Malbereign, Harare was arrested at the Harare International Airport on October 21 while trying to board a flight to China.

He is being charged with contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act which bans unlawful possession of raw ivory and ivory products and of contravening the Customs and Excise Act over the unlawful exportation of goods.

Guoliang was not formally charged when he recently appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei. He was denied bail and advised to apply at the High Court.

The complainant in the matter is the State represented by Civil Aviation Authority official Ms Wendy Gomo.

It is alleged that on October 21 at around 1230 Guoliang arrived at the Harare International Airport with the intention of going to China.

He checked in at the reception and booked an air ticket.

It is further alleged that Guoliang wrapped his luggage and reported to an immigration officer. His passport was cleared indicating his departure from Zimbabwe.

Guoliang’s luggage was screened through the scanning machines and officers immediately became suspicious of the contents, the court heard.

He was called for a physical search and when his luggage was opened, 17 pieces of raw tusks weighing 99kg recovered together with ivory worked artefacts weighing 14,9kg.

All the goods were valued at US$28 475.

Guoliang was asked to produce a permit or licence for possession of the ivory as well as the authority to export the goods, but failed to do so, leading to his arrest.

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