Chinese ivory dealer lodges bail appeal

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HARARE – A Chinese national who was arrested at the Harare International Airport with 99kg of ivory worth $28 000 has appealed to the High Court for bail.

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.

The High Court yesterday postponed the matter to Monday, in order for the investigating officer to appear before the court to clarify Guoliang’s status.

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 at the Harare International Airport, while intending to board a plane to China.

Prosecutors told the court Guoliang checked in at the reception and booked for 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.

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