Tanzania jails Chinese ‘Ivory Queen’ trafficker for 15 years

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Chinese businesswoman Yang Feng Glan, dubbed the ‘Ivory Queen’, sits inside the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Reuters)
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Chinese businesswoman Yang Feng Glan, dubbed the ‘Ivory Queen’, sits inside the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Reuters)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Tanzania jails Chinese ‘Ivory Queen’ trafficker for 15 years

  • Yang Fenlan, 69, was convicted in Dar es Salaam of trafficking 860 tusks between 2000 and 2014
  • Fenlan, who has lived in the East African nation since the 1970s, was convicted of organizing a smuggling ring between Tanzania and Asia

NAIROBI: A Tanzanian court on Tuesday sentenced a Chinese woman dubbed the “Ivory Queen” to 15 years in jail for her role in trafficking tusks from more than 400 elephants.
Yang Fenlan, 69, was convicted in Dar es Salaam of trafficking 860 tusks between 2000 and 2014, a haul representing the slaughter of dozens of herds of elephants.
Two Tanzanian men were also found guilty for their role in the illegal commerce. They were also sentenced to 15 years each.
“The prosecution proved the case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt,” Judge Huruma Shaidi told the court.
The prosecution showed the two men had collected elephant tusks across Tanzania, bringing them to Frenlan.

Chinese businesswoman Yang Feng Glan, dubbed the ‘Ivory Queen’, is escorted by prison wardens at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Reuters)

“The testimonies proved that all three accused worked hand in hand,” Shaidi said.
The trio were also ordered to pay a joint fine of $13 million (€11.5 million) — roughly equivalent to twice the market value of the ivory they profited from — or face an additional two years in jail.
Defense lawyers said they would appeal.
Wildlife campaigners have called it one of the most important cases for several years.
Fenlan, who has lived in the East African nation since the 1970s, was convicted of organizing a smuggling ring between Tanzania and Asia.
When she was arrested in 2015 she was vice president of the China-Africa Business Council of Tanzania.
Poaching has seen the population of African elephants fall by 110,000 over the past decade to just 415,000 animals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The slaughter is being fueled especially by demand in Asia, where ivory is used for jewelry and ornamentation.


Australia’s conservative coalition wins surprise 3rd term

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media as he arrives at the Horizon Church in Sutherland in Sydney, Australia, May 19, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 min 27 sec ago
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Australia’s conservative coalition wins surprise 3rd term

  • Govt claims miraculous result, but unclear if can form majority
  • Morrison govt polls strongly in Queensland state

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia’s ruling conservative coalition won a surprise victory in the country’s general election on Saturday, defying opinion polls that had tipped the center-left opposition party to oust it from power and promising an end to the revolving door of national leaders.
“I have always believed in miracles,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a jubilant Sydney crowd.
He compared his Liberal Party’s victory for a third three-year term to the births of his daughters, Abbey, 11, and Lily, 9, who were conceived naturally after 14 years of in vitro fertilization had failed. His wife, Jenny Morrison, suffered endometriosis.
“I’m standing with the three biggest miracles in my life here tonight, and tonight we’ve been delivered another one,” he said, embraced by his wife and daughters.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten had earlier conceded defeat as the coalition came close to a majority in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government. Vote counting was to continue on Sunday.
“I’m disappointed for people who depend upon Labor, but I’m glad that we argued what was right, not what was easy,” Shorten told his supporters.
Shorten would have become Australia’s sixth prime minister in as many years. He said he would no longer lead Labor after six years at the helm.
The tight race raised the prospect of the coalition forming a minority government. The conservatives became a rare minority government after they dumped Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister for Morrison in an internal power struggle last August. The government then lost two seats and its single-seat majority as part of the blood-letting that followed.
An unpopular single-term Labor government that was voted out in 2013 had been the only previous minority government since World War II.
Opinion polls prior to Saturday’s election had suggested that the coalition would lose and that Morrison would have had one of the shortest tenures as prime minister in the 118-year history of the Australian federation.
Morrison had focused his campaigning on polling that showed while Labor was more popular than the government, the prime minister was more popular than Shorten.
There was so much public confidence of a Labor victory that Australian online bookmaker Sportsbet paid out 1.3 million Australian dollars ($900,000) to bettors who backed Labor two days before the election. Sportsbet said 70% of wagers had been placed on Labor at odds of $1.16.
Another betting agency, Ladbrokes, said it had accepted a record AU$1 million wager on Labor.
Shorten, who campaigned heavily on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said Saturday morning that he was confident Labor would win, but Morrison would not be drawn on a prediction.
Morrison is the conservatives’ third prime minister since they were elected in 2013.
Tony Abbott, who became the first of those three prime ministers in the 2013 election, conceded defeat in the Sydney seat he has held since 1994.
Polling suggests climate change was a major issue in that seat for voters, who instead elected an independent candidate, Zali Steggall. As prime minister in 2014, Abbott repealed a carbon tax introduced by a Labor government. Abbott was replaced by Turnbull the next year because of poor opinion polling, but he remained a government lawmaker.
A maverick senator who blamed the slaughter of 51 worshippers in two New Zealand mosques on the country’s immigration policies also lost his bid for election.
Fraser Anning was the target of widespread condemnation for railing against Muslim immigration within hours of the mass shootings in the New Zealand city of Christchurch in March. He faced more criticism later for physically striking a teenage protester who cracked a raw egg on his head and was censured by the Senate.
Senior Labor lawmaker Chris Bowen said his party may have suffered from what he conceded was an unusual strategy of pushing a detailed policy agenda through the election campaign.
Morrison began the day Saturday by campaigning in the island state of Tasmania, where the Liberals appeared to have gained two Labor-held seats. He then flew 900 kilometers (560 miles) home to Sydney to vote and to campaign in Sydney seats.
Shorten campaigned hard on more ambitious targets to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The government has committed Australia to reduce its emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Labor has promised a 45% reduction in the same time frame.
Shorten, a 52-year-old former labor union leader, has also promised a range of reforms, including the government paying all of a patients’ costs for cancer treatment and a reduction of tax breaks for landlords.
Morrison, a former tourism marketer, promised lower taxes and better economic management than Labor.
Both major parties promised that whoever won the election would remain prime minister until he next faces the voters’ judgment. The parties have changed their rules to make the process of lawmakers replacing a prime minister more difficult.
During Labor’s last six years in office, the party replaced Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with his deputy Julia Gillard, then dumped her for Rudd.