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Malawi: Final witness testifies against Chinese in Malawi wildlife crime case

By May 25, 2020Anti-poaching
Harold Kapindu, The Nyasa Times | May 22, 2020

Read the original story here.

The final state witness, Criminal Investigator Sub Inspector Ikraim Malata on Wednesday testified in the high profile wildlife case involving a Chinese national, Lin Yun Hua.

Magistrate Chipao Presiding Over the Case

Lin Yun Hua, who is dubbed Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker and notorious kingpin , appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrate Court answering charges of money laundering offense and dealing with government trophy.

During the cross and reexamination, investigator Malata emphasized on the point that the leads led to Lin Yun Hua who already pleaded guilty to the charge of Illegal possessions of specimen of listed species, 103 pieces of Rhino horn.

In his remarks, prosecutor Andy Kaonga said the State is happy, stressing that all the witnesses are very important to the case. Chief Magistrate Violet Chipao then adjourned the case to 8 June 2020 for judicial notice. Speaking to Nyasa Times after the adjournment, defense counsel Chrispin Ndalama said the defense is patiently waiting for the judicial notice.

“In criminal law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. The state has brought their witnesses and now we are waiting for the court to make a determination on whether my client has a case to answer,” Ndalama said.

Some of the witnesses who have testified in the case includes South Africa based veterinarian, University of Pretoria Director of veterinary, genetics and laboratory, Dr Cindy Kim Harper and Liwonde National Park Field Operations Manager Lawrence Munlo.

Lin Yun Hua was arrested on 16th August 2019 in Lilongwe (Area 3) following a 3-month manhunt by Malawi Police Service. In November 2019, Lin Yun Hua pleaded guilty to the charge of Illegal possessions of specimen of listed species.

Facts were presented and court convicted him on his own plea of guilty.

A total of ten Chinese and four Malawian nationals have been arrested were arrested in 2019 in relation to the syndicate in question and are at various stages of trial.