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Three-month manhunt ends with arrest of Chinese ivory trafficker

By August 22, 2019Law & legislation
Malawi 24 | August 20, 2019

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A three month joint manhunt by the Malawi Police Service and the Department of Parks and Wildlife has ended with the arrest of Malawi’s most wanted wildlife trafficker, Yun hua Lin.

The Chinese national is in Police custody in Malawi’s Capital Lilongwe following the arrest on Friday last week. The law enforcers arrested Lin, 46, after they were tipped off that he was hiding in Lilongwe.

Lin is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and was on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.

He is also 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.

The Chinese national 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. His arrest comes three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.
The nine – Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zing(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, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.