World, Africa

Chinese 'Ivory Queen' gets 15 years in Tanzanian court

Yang Fenglan came to Tanzania in 1970s where she led a brutal ivory gang slaughtering hundreds of elephants

19.02.2019
Chinese 'Ivory Queen' gets 15 years in Tanzanian court

By Magdalene Mukami and Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI

A court in Tanzania on Tuesday handed down a 15-year sentence to a Chinese national for trafficking tusks from more than 400 elephants.

Dubbed the Ivory Queen, Yang Fenglan, 69, came to Tanzania in the 1970s where she led a brutal ivory gang that slaughtered hundreds of elephants.

The Chinese grandmother is believed to have trafficked over 860 tusks.

The ruling was hailed by conservationists in a crowded court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The global conservation community, in statements and on social media, rejoiced saying it is a step in the right direction in the fight against wildlife trade.

Top Kenyan conservationist Trish Sewe, working with Wildlife Direct told Anadolu Agency, “it is actually two counts of 15 years running concurrently. I wish it was more, we still need to do a lot given that elephants are disappearing, this is a wakeup call we need to get more of the high profile criminals.”

The coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya has been an exit hub for trafficked wildlife products from East and Central Africa.

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