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DPP orders re-arrest of released Chinese ivory smuggler

06 February 2014, 16:45 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - A Chinese man who had been released after paying a Sh1million fine on charges of ivory smuggling has been arrested again.

Chunsheng Zhang, 31, was seized at the JKIA on Wednesday after the Director of Public Prosecution appealed the sentence of five years in jail or Sh1million fine that was handed to him by a lower court.

"The High Court Judge Justice Mbogholi Msagha, granted interim orders as sought by the DPP (Keriako Tobiko) and thus barred the accused from leaving Kenya pending the hearing of the appeal," a statement sent to newsrooms said.

It is expected that a more stringent sentence will be delivered in light of the new Wildlife Act.

“As the custodian of the state powers of prosecution, my office swiftly moved to appeal the sentence earlier handed down to Mr Zhang Chunsheng in the interest of our national wildlife and environmental conservation efforts,” Mr Tobiko said.

Last week, a Makadara court issued a historic judgment when it ruled that another Chinese national be fined Sh20million after he was found guilty of a similar charge.

Tang Yong Jian, 40, was ordered to pay Sh20 million or be jailed for seven years.

When first arraigned in court Tang failed to plead to the charges of being in illegal possession and dealing with a wildlife trophy as there was no Chinese translator when he appeared before a resident magistrate.

Tang had also been arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while on transit from Napula, Mozambique to Guangzhou, China.

A joint security team comprising officials from the Kenya Airports Police Unit, Customs, Kenya Airways and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) detected him trying to smuggle 3.4kg of raw ivory parked in a suitcase.

They had him booked at the JKIA Police Station to wait being arraigned in court for dealing with endangered or threatened species.

The new Wildlife Act 2013 provides that a suspect shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than Sh20 million or life imprisonment or to both such fine and imprisonment.

The African elephant and the rhinoceros, listed as threatened and endangered species by law, have been the most poached and illegally traded due to the value attached to their products.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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