THE success of a covert anti-poaching operation by the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (Task Force) can’t be more telling following the arrest of the ‘Ivory Queen’, Yang Feng Glan.
Poaching has been a thorn in the flesh, not only for Tanzania, but the world as a whole as it threatens wildlife with extinction. The government has been in the forefront in fighting this social anomaly that affects wildlife rich areas of the country.
The arrest of Ms Glan is a telltale sign that the days of poachers are numbered. Efforts by the task force have started bearing fruits with the arrest of a ‘big fish’ and puts to rest all doubts about the government’s resolve in fighting poaching.
Having previously confessed to the crime of ivory trafficking, Ms Glan faces between 20 and 30 years behind bars if convicted. She was arrested together with a number of other Chinese ivory traffickers.
Information released by the task force indicate that she has been trafficking ivory since 2006, working with the most high-ranking poachers in the country and in the region. Tanzania has been the ground zero of elephant poaching in East Africa for the past several years, having lost 85,000 elephants between 2009 and 2014, according to a recent elephant census in the country.
Poverty and ignorance among locals living in areas surrounding national parks and game reserves have for a long time been mentioned as some of the major causes for continued poaching of wild animals in the country.
But it is the likes of the Ivory Queen who fuel the vice by funding poaching. As such, the arrest of Ms Glan deserves to be commended because it is people like her who make it possible for locals to poach.
We praise the task force, which has carved a niche for integrity and pray that more and more traffickers will be arrested and poaching will become a thing of the past.