Chinese ivory smuggler gets K1m Malawi fine

A First Grade Magistrate Court in Malawi’s administrative capital Lilongwe has fined a Chinese businessman K1 million or in default serve for smuggling ivory.

Axin Shang, 25  was caught last week with an elephant ivory tusk  in a suitcase, at Kamuzu International Airport,

If he is unable to pay the fine, he will spend two years in prison.

Ivory smuggler  in court, Axin Shang, left, and  acquitted suspect Mark Nyirenda,  (Photo © Charles Mkoka)

Ivory smuggler in court, Axin Shang, left, and acquitted suspect Mark Nyirenda, (Photo © Charles Mkoka)

Levison Mangani, the Central Region assistant commissioner of police responsible for prosecution, told the court the offense was discovered on September 16 when officers from Kamuzu International Airport were screening goods at Air Cargo.

Shang, who appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Chisomo Msokera, admitted to have attempted to ship out the ivory and that he was not aware that it is an offence against the country’s laws.

But Magistrate Msokera observed it was not “agreeable for the accused to claim that he was not aware that it was an offence”.

The trade in ivory is criminalised in Malawi  but there has been a rise in the illegal practice in recent years.

There is a huge demand for ivory in Asia for use in ornaments, while conservationists suspect that most of the poached rhino horn is destined for traditional medicine markets in South East Asia, where it is believed to contain powerful healing properties, despite there being no scientific proof of this.

The Magistrate also ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to deport  the Chinese him and seize the 50kg of 3,000 cubes of ivory he was found with.

In his ruling, Magistrate Msokera commented that the language of the National Parks and Wildlife Act is ambiguous and recommended that Parliament “consider reviewing the punishment provisions in the Act.”

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Manager Jonathan Vaughan, a campaigner against the illicit ivory trade, welcomed the ruling as the maximum fine. But he lamented that the existing legal framework for penalties has a lot of limitations.

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7 thoughts on “Chinese ivory smuggler gets K1m Malawi fine”

  1. WAMANDASI says:

    The magistrate has no connection and clue with the reality. In the wild animal auction MK1m you can’t even buy gwape.

    Dumb honourable next time look into the wildlife markets and find the coast of an elephant and ask the ivory holder to replace an elephant they killed. The lousy mk1m is a penalty after an elephant is replaced.

    Government must empower game rangers to poach poachers. Ecology will take care of itself

  2. kukukuki says:

    hang those who are depleting our wild life

  3. Nyasa says:

    My first comment wasn’t published because I said something about this Nyirenda guy in the picture above. Nyasa Times hates dissenting views. You are undemocratic. Of course we know that this online media house (Nyasa Times) is administered by Tumbukas. But this is not enough reason not to publish dissenting views. Hehehe democracy yapa Malawi. Koma ya.

  4. Chonde Mulanje says:

    if it were a Malawian in China, he would have been executed

  5. SALOME says:

    why just send them back to their land? uku ndiye kukama ng’ombe yoonda kale

  6. Joke says:

    This guy needs prison straight. No fines. No diplomatics. Do not pass GO! Just prison straight!

  7. Taelos says:

    We have to take care,these chinese will reap from our country

Comments are closed.