Tag: Sentenced

Breaking! Notorious Wildlife Poacher ‘Guyvanho’ Accused Of Killing 500 Elephants Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

Notorious poacher and ivory trafficker, ‘Guyvanho,’ accused of killing up to 500 elephants, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the Republic of Congo. This marks the first-ever wildlife trafficker to be convicted in Criminal Court in Congo.

Mobanza Mobembo Gérard, ‘Guyvanho,’ was found guilty and sentenced on August 19th for attempted murder of park rangers, ivory trafficking from poached elephants, and possession of military weapons, among other charges. Gérard was also required to pay damages of 38 million Central African Francs (USD $68,000) to the injured rangers.

Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park’s Wildlife Crime Unit and Anti-Poaching Department worked on this case for nearly three years with the cooperation of Congolese authorities, including the Ministry of Forest Economy, the Police, and District Prosecutors.

“This unprecedented conviction in criminal court is a major milestone in the protection of wildlife in the Republic of Congo. Previously, all environmental crimes were tried in the civil courts where the maximum penalty under the wildlife law was five years,” said Dr. Emma Stokes, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Regional Director of Central Africa, in a statement. “Today’s sentencing sends an extremely strong message that wildlife crime will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted at the highest levels. We are confident that today’s sentence will serve as a deterrent to would-be criminals that you will serve hard time if you break our wildlife laws and put park rangers and Congo’s national security in danger.”

Some of the incredible wildlife organizations and government agencies that have supported and worked on this case include:

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), The Wildcat Foundation, Save the Elephants’ and Wildlife Conservation Network’s Elephant Crisis Fund, the Sangha Trinational Trust Fund, US State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the European Union, and the United States Agency for International Development’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (USAID-CARPE).

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! Notorious Wildlife Poacher ‘Guyvanho’ Accused Of Killing 500 Elephants Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison appeared first on World Animal News.

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9 Members Of South Africa’s Most Notorious Wildlife Trafficking Gang Sentenced To More Than 56 Years In Prison

After years of investigations and collecting evidence, nine members of one of Southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife trafficking gangs were sentenced by a Malawi court to a total of 56.5 years in prison.

The convicted were members of the Lin-Zhang syndicate and each was found guilty of at least one wildlife trafficking offense of a listed or protected species including: pangolins, rhino horn, ivory, and hippo teeth.

Among them was Mrs. Quinhua Zhang, who was convicted of possession of rhino horn and an illegal firearm following her arrest at a raid in May 2019.

Zhang is the wife of Yunhua Lin, the alleged kingpin of the syndicate, who was arrested in August of 2019 following a three-month manhunt. Lin, reportedly, was also recently sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for the possession of rhino horn, conspiracy, and money-laundering.

“Following years of concerted efforts and overcoming countless obstacles, this small nation has demonstrated how, with political will and determination, to dismantle one of Africa’s most prolific organized international crime syndicates,” Mary Rice, Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said in a statement.

The Lin-Zhang syndicate has been operating in Malawi for more than a decade.

“Fighting crime on this scale demands sophistication, collaboration, courage, and tenacity,” continued Rice. “Malawi should be immensely proud, and other African countries currently battling the scourge of illegal wildlife trade would do well to follow this example of global leadership.”

The sentiment was echoed by Brighton Kumchedwa, Director of Malawi National Parks and Wildlife. 

“It is critical that wildlife criminals can expect to feel the full weight of the law and the message needs to be loud and clear: Malawi is no longer a playground for the likes of the Lin-Zhang syndicate that exploit our natural heritage, damage our economy, incite corruption, and pose a risk to national security,” stated Kumchedwa. This is indeed a victory for the Malawi, and a victory for wildlife in particular.”

The sentences handed down yesterday at the Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court, in Lilongwe, were:

  • Quinhua Zhang – A total of 11 years in prison (seven years for possession of rhino horn and four years for an illegal firearm, to be served consecutively);

  • Li Hao Yuan – A total of 11 years in prison (seven years possession of rhino horn and four years for an illegal firearm, to be served consecutively, plus 1.5 years for possession of pangolin scales, served concurrently);

  • Yanwu Zhuo – A total of seven years in prison (possession of rhino horn);

  • Ya Shen Zhuo – A total of seven years in prison (possession of rhino horn);

  • Jinfu Zeng – A total of eight years in prison (five years for possession of pangolin scales and three years for possession of worked ivory, to be served concurrently);

  • Guozhong Zhang – A total of three years in prison (two years for possession of pangolin scales and three years for possession of worked ivory, to be served concurrently);

  • Guohua Zhang – A total of three years in prison (possession of worked ivory);

  • Cosmas Sakugwa – A total of 1.5 years in prison (possession of worked ivory);

  • Steven Daza – A total of 1.5 years in prison (possession of hippo teeth).

In total, 14 members of the syndicate were apprehended last year. Of the remaining syndicate members arrested in May of 2019, one Chinese and two Malawian nationals, Cheng Qiang, James Mkwezalamba, and Julius Sanudia, have each been sentenced to three years in prison for possession of live pangolins or pangolin scales.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post 9 Members Of South Africa’s Most Notorious Wildlife Trafficking Gang Sentenced To More Than 56 Years In Prison appeared first on World Animal News.

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