The Malawi Police Service, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, have arrested one of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker, Yunhua Lin.
Lin, 46, a Chinese national, was arrested on Friday, 16 August 2019, in Lilongwe after a three months manhunt. He has been placed on remand in Maula prison, Lilongwe until 11 September when the next hearing will take place.
He is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and has been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.
Police received a tip that Lin was in hiding and managed to arrest him in Lilongwe during a joint operation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
He is connected to the recovery of, a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.
Currently Lin is facing charges of ; illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 of National Parks and Wildlife Act as read with section 110 and Dealing in Government trophies contrary to section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act. Investigations are on going.
His arrest comes barely three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.
The nine–Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zeng(58), Guozong Zhang, Lio Hao Yuan(42), Qiang Chen(43), Shine He, Ya Shen Zhuo(51) and Qin Hua Zhang (43)- are currently being remanded to Maula Prison.
Four Malawians suspected accomplices James Mkwezalamba, Cosmas Sakugwa, Julius Sanudia and Steven Daza were also arrested in May this year and are remanded at Maula Prison.
Lin was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014. His wife Qin Hua Zhang and others are on court bail, case under senior resident magistrate , His Worship Msokera, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.