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Chinese national in cooler for trafficking wildlife

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By Faith Kadzanja:

The Malawi Police Service has arrested one of the most wanted suspected wildlife traffickers in the country, Lin Yun Hua.

The 46-year-old Chinese national was arrested on Friday in Lilongwe, three months after law enforcers started hunting for him.

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Central Region Police publicist, Kingsley Dandaula, said the man was involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales, among other trophies.

“It is true we have arrested Lin Yun Hua for the offence of dealing in illegal wildlife trade, firearms and dangerous drugs. Actually his friends were arrested in June and are on remand at Maula [Prison]. He was on the run.

“He had been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals, including his wife Qin Hua Zhang, and four Malawians this year,” he said.

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Dandaula said law enforcers got a tip that the suspect was in hiding somewhere in Lilongwe.

Hua is connected to the recovery of a number of wildlife trophies including three live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, two hippo teeth, chopsticks made of ivory and processed ivory.

The Chinese national is facing charges of illegal possession of listed species, in line with Section 86 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, as read with Section 110, and dealing in government trophies, as stipulated in Section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament Chairperson, Welani Chilenga, has hailed police for not relenting in their chase for the suspect.

“I would like to commend the police for the job well done. Some of these foreigners have been exploiting our natural resources for a very long time. We have had problems with them since 2014,’’ Chilenga he said.

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