Two Malawian and two Chinese Nationals were today sentenced to six years in prison for ivory trafficking.
Mrs Qin Hua Zhang, 42, Mr Li Hao Yaun, 28, Mr Tsogolani Samson, 32, and Mr Paul Mangwe, 32 were arrested in Lilongwe on 17 December 2017 after they were found with ten pieces of ivory weighing 21 kilograms. They were also in possession of illicit drugs and crocodile skins.
They were apprehended with a Zambian national, Mr Frackson Kanyoli Bandan, 43, who chose to plead guilty to one charge of the illegal possession of a listed species. He is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for the crime.
The remaining four suspects pleaded not guilty but were subsequently found guilty by H/W Msokera on 24 September 2019 at the Principle Residents Magistrates Court in Lilongwe and sentenced to six years each for charges of the possession of, and dealing in, a listed species, to run concurrently.
Mr Yuan and Mrs Zhang are also currently on trial for other wildlife trafficking offences after they were arrested in May 2019 alongside six other Chinese nationals and two Malawian nationals for possession of rhino horn, ivory, pangolin, hippo teeth, and firearms.
They are amongst ten Chinese nationals and four Malawian nationals who have been arrested and are alleged to be members of a large wildlife trafficking syndicate. Of these, two Malawians have so far been convicted for pangolin trafficking offences for which they each received custodial sentences of three years in prison.