Mozambique: rhino horn trafficker sentenced to 15 years in jail

By August 29, 2019Uncategorized
The Club of Mozambique | August 27, 2019

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Maputo Judicial Court has sentenced a Chinese citizen to 15 years in prison for trafficking rhino horns, a protected species, a court source has told Lusa.

The trafficker was arrested on 15 April 2018 with 4.2 kilograms of rhinoceros horns in pieces in a suitcase, before boarding a Qatar Airways plane to Doha, with Hong Kong as its final destination.

During the trial, the convict alleged that the suitcase was handed to him by strangers, with a paid ticket to reach Hong Kong.

“We have had good convictions in recent times, but this was one of the best,” said David Ucama, a lawyer with the National Administration of Conservation Areas, who hopes that the sentence will serve to halt the practice of crimes against nature.

The horns of several protected species are a prohibited trade item but are in great demand in Asia, because they are used in ceremonies linked to beliefs and superstitions.

The Mozambican Tax Authority made its biggest ivory seizure in 2018 when it found 867 elephant tusks, weighing over 3.5 tons, in a container bound for Cambodia.