Two Chinese nationals have been sentenced to 30 years in jail in Tanzania for illegal possession of 706 pieces of elephant tusks, according to Reuters Africa.
Huang Gin, 53, and Xu Fujie, 25, were ordered to either pay 54.3 billion Tanzanian Shillings (HKD$193 million) or face jail time.
The two were also found guilty of attempting to bribe officials with Sh30.2 million (HKD$107,000), for which they were given an additional five years in jail and a fine of Sh1 million (HKD$3,500), the Citizen reported.
“Considering the evidence adduced in court and the huge loss that the nation has suffered for the killing of 226 elephants, it is obvious the accused are a real threat to the elephant population,” the magistrate Cyprian Mkeha was quoted as saying in the Citizen.
— The Citizen Tanzania (@TheCitizenTZ) March 19, 2016
The tusks found in the men’s possession had an estimated value of Sh5.4 billion (HKD$19 million).
Prominent Chinese businesswoman Yang Feng Glan, nicknamed “Ivory Queen”, was also charged with smuggling tusks, according to Reuters Africa, in part of a wider effort by new President John Magufuli to root out poaching.
A census released in June last year said that the number of elephants in Tanzania had dropped from 110,000 in 2009 to 43,000 in 2014, Reuters Africa reported.
In Hong Kong, the prominent Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon recently pulled ivory products from its shelves in light of a potential city-wide ban and pressure from a conservation NGO.