News & Conflicts

Yang Feng Glan ‘Ivory Queen’ Sentenced to 15 years in Prison in Tanzania for Smuggling

A court in Tanzania has prescribed a 15-year sentence to the Chinese businesswoman ‘the Ivory queen’ for smuggling elephant-tusks.

The Hunting and capturing of wild and exotic animals has spiked over the last decade with the world dealing with its unprecedented trade for gains which is threatening the number of animals alive. 

With that being said Kisutu Court Magistrate, Huruma Shaidi sentenced Yang Feng former secretary-general of the Tanzania China-Africa Business Council, Salivius Matembo and Manase Philemon, each to 15 years, after they were convicted of leading an organised criminal gang 

Kisutu Court Magistrate Huruma Shaidi sentenced Yang, Salivius Matembo and Manase Philemon, each to 15 years, after they were convicted of leading an organised criminal gang.

In court documents, prosecutors said Yang “intentionally did organise, manage and finance a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling government trophies” weighing a total of 1.889 tonnes.

Advocates welcomed Yang’s conviction, saying it was proof of the government’s seriousness in the fight against wildlife poaching but criticised the sentence.

“It is not punishment enough for the atrocities she committed, by being responsible for the poaching of thousands of elephants in Tanzania,” Amani Ngusaru, WWF country director, told Reuters. “She ran a network that killed thousands of elephants.”

Tanzania’s elephant population shrank from 110,000 in 2009 to little more than 43,000 in 2014, according to a 2015 census, with conservation groups blaming “industrial-scale” poaching.

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