East Africa: State Seeks More Time for ‘Queen of Ivory’ Probe (Tanzania)


And Rosina John, The Citizen

Date Published

Dar es Salaam — The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has ordered further investigations into the Sh5.4 billion ivory smuggling case facing Chinese woman Yang Feng Glan, dubbed ‘Queen of Ivory’.

Ms Glan, 66, is thought to be the most notorious ivory trafficker arrested in East Africa in the last decade.

She was arraigned on October 7 last year with her co-accused Salvius Matembo and Manase Philemon. They were charged with several counts, including trading in 706 elephant tusks worth Sh5.4 billion between January 1, 2000 and May 22, 2014. She is said to have been running a sophisticated supply chain between East Africa and China for about 10 years.

State attorney Paul Kaduchi informed the court during preliminary hearing the DPP had detected shortcomings in investigations and ordered further investigations.

“The original file of the case was taken to the DPP early this year after investigations had presumably been completed, but after thorough scrutiny he (DPP) discovered that some aspects needed to be investigated further,” Kaduchi told the court.

The investigation would now involve individuals and authorities outside the country. But the lawyer of the accused person, Nehemia Nkoko, argued the DPP’s directive amounted to abuse of human rights since his clients had stayed in custody for over a year now.

Resident magistrate Huruma Shahidi ordered the prosecution to expedite the investigation and adjourned the case to June 20.