Chinese national to serve 14 years jail sentence for wildlife offenses in MW

Lin, believed to be one of Southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife traffickers, was arrested in August 2019 after police found rhino horns cut pieces at his house.

The Lilongwe Magistrates court on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, sentenced a Chinese national, Lin Yun Hua, 14 years in imprisonment for possession and dealing in pieces of rhino horns as well as money laundering in relation to 103 rhino horns cut pieces.

The charges are in this order: 14 years for dealing in rhino horns, 14 years for possession of rhino horns, and six years for money laundering, the sentences will run concurrently; hence, making the convict serve a total of 14 years in jail.

Passing the judgment on behalf of Justice Violet Chipao who has been presiding over the case since 2019, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana said that, Lin will be deported back to China after serving his sentence in Malawi.

Msekandiana added that the nature of the offenses and their seriousness does not warrant a non-custodial sentence as it was requested by the defense, however, she said that the defense is at liberty to appeal the sentence within 30 days from the day of Lin’s conviction.

Lin, who is believed to be one of Southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife traffickers, was arrested in August 2019 after police found rhino horns cut pieces at his house which he confessed to being the owner.

The convict is also believed to be the head of the ‘Lin Zhang gang’ which has been running out of the country for many years.

In his comment, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Director, Brighton Kumchedwa hailed the sentencing of Lin’s case.

“It is critical that wildlife criminals can expect to feel the full weight of the law and the message needs to be loud and clear that Malawi’s is no longer a playground for the likes of the Lin-Zhang syndicate that exploit our natural heritage, damage our economy, incite corruption and pose a risk to the national security,” Kumchedwa said.

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