Asian ivory smuggler to stay behind bars

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HARARE – A Harare magistrate has remanded in custody a Chinese national who was arrested on Monday at the Harare International Airport  after being found in possession of 99kg of ivory worth $28 000.

Chen Guoliang is accused of contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act, after being found in illegal possession of ivory.

He faces another charge of contravening the Customs and Excise Act, for unlawfully exporting goods.

According to state papers, the complainant in the case is the state represented by Wendy Gomo from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

The 36-year-old Chinese national was arrested on Monday afternoon at the Harare International Airport, while intending to board a plane to China.

Prosecutor Fransisca Mukumbiri told the court that Guoliang checked in at the reception and booked an air ticket.

He allegedly wrapped his luggage at the airport, before approaching an immigration officer, where his passport was cleared.

The court heard that Guoliang’s luggage was screened using a scanning machine and immigration officials became suspicious of the contents.

They allegedly called Guoliang for a physical search, before opening his luggage.

According to court papers immigration officials recovered 17 pieces of raw ivory tusks weighing 99kg.

The court heard that the total value of the ivory was $28 475 and all was recovered.

It is alleged that upon being questioned by immigration officials, Guoliang failed to produce a permit authorising him to be in possession of the ivory or any documents that gave him permission to export the goods.

Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei remanded Guoliang in custody to November 4.

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