While China denies do her citizens continue to trade in blood ivory

(Posted 05th May 2016)

One Chinese citizen was arrested and three accomplices are now being hunted down by a combined task force of law enforcement officials including Interpol, after an intense intelligence gathering operation revealed enough evidence to slap the cuffs on the key suspect.
Details unearthed suggest that the criminals were responsible for trafficing at least 8.5 tons of blood ivory, representing hundreds of elephant killed to satisfy the greed of mostly Chinese buyers, made possible through a thoroughly corrupt system of how trade is handled and how permissions are obtained while leaving the Chinese domestic processing and carving of ivory untouched and ongoing.
Tanzania, under the new President John Magufuli and Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, has shown renewed determination to tackle poaching and not only have numerous cases been brought to court but recent sentences imposed can only be described as massive, when two Chinese blood ivory traders were sent down to serve 30 years while also being fined millions of US Dollars, effectively leaving them to rot in prison for being liable for the killing of over 700 elephants, including babies, the young, females and bulls for their tusks.
The arrest made already will according to sources in Dar es Salaam and Arusha be fastracked to the courts and similar harsh sentences can be expected.
For China though, soothing sounds made at the sidelines of the Nairobi Ivory Burn last Saturday, will all but evaporate and have already fallen on deaf ears by the conservation community in Eastern Africa. ‘If China, with their repressive system of governance and their all present security services, cannot get a handle on her citizens and stop them from poaching, stop them from smuggling blood ivory into China, stop them from carving and processing it, then their government’s assurances are worthless. Yes, they have given some material support to anti poaching in Africa, but it is too little too late. We know that it is to shut their critics up but these cases like here in Tanzania, arrests in Nairobi airport, it all goes to show that these symptoms run too deep in China. Their hunger for ivory is just too great and unless elephant are treated like Pandas, unless processing and possession is made criminal, this will not change‘ commented a regular conservation source from Tanzania when passing on the information.