The court in Dar es Salaam has sentenced to 15 years Yang Fenglan, a Chinese businesswoman nicknamed the “ivory queen”, for having smuggled hundreds of elephant tusks into China.
Yang was accused of having managed one of the most important smuggling rings responsible for smuggling fangs $2.5m (£1.9m) worth of tusks from some 400 elephants.
Two men from Tanzania were also found guilty.
The smuggling of ivory caused a decline of about 20% of the population of Elephants in Africa.
Within 10 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international environmental organization, the elephant population in Africa has passed 415,000 to 110,000 units within 10 years, due to poaching.
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Illicit trade is mainly fueled by the demand of China and East Asia, where ivory is still used, despite some bans, for jewelry and ornaments.
The woman was accused of smuggling about 800 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2014 from Tanzania to East Asia.
The court of Dar es Salaam ordered the confiscation of the property of the woman.
Yang had been arrested in 2015, after a year of investigation, following a high-speed car chase.
Yang speaks fluently Swahili, and lives and works in Tanzania since the 1970s, where she also served as vice-president of the Tanzanian China-Africa Business Council.
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