Chinese nationals, Malawians sentenced over wildlife crime

The Lilongwe Magistrate Court has sentenced two Chinese nationals and other two Malawians to 6 years imprisonment for illegal possession of specimen of listed species.

The convicts were found in possession of 21.5 kilograms of ivory, valued at K31, 879, 000.

The two Chinese nationals are Qin Hua Zhang aged 42 and Li Hao Yaun of 28 years old and the Malawians are Tsogolani Samson aged 32 and Paul Mangwe of 32 years old.

According to Principal Resident Magistrate Chisomo Msokera, the case attracts a non-custodial sentence of 30 years.

Delivering his ruling, Magistrate Msokera said the starting point is six years with no option of fine and that the court can either go below or above that in accordance with sentencing guidelines.

Magistrate Msokera added that the sentences will run concurrently.

All the charges are contrary to section 86 (1) of National Parks and Wildlife Act and section 110 (b) of the same Act.

The court has since given 30 days for the convicts to appeal the verdict.

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