Tanzania: ‘Queen of Ivory’ Case Adjourned to Aug 26


Faustine Kapama, Tanzania Daily News

Date Published

The prosecution is finalising investigations into the case in which the alleged Queen of Ivory, Chinese national Yang Feng Clan (66), is charged with leading organised crime and unlawful dealing in government trophies worth 5.4bn/-.

State Attorney Wankyo Simon told Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday that the police were in final touches with their counterparts abroad in line with the directives given earlier by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“Under such circumstances, we pray for another mention date. Hopefully we will be in a better position next time to report good progress as far as investigations is concerned,” the trial attorney argued.

The magistrate granted the prosecution’s request and adjourned the matter to August 26. In the case, Clan is charged alongside two other Tanzanian businessmen, Salivius Matembo (39) and Manase Philemon (39). All of them are in remand.

The prosecution alleges that between January 1, 2000 and May 22, last year in the city, jointly and together, all the three accused persons carried on business of the said government trophies.

It is alleged that the trio bought and sold 706 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 1889 kg valued at 5,435,865,000/-, the property of United Republic of Tanzania, without a permit from the director of wildlife.

The prosecution alleged that within the same period and place, intentionally, Clan organised, managed and financed a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling the elephant tusks without having permit of the director of wildlife or CITES permit.

Within the same period and place, Matembo and Philemon, allegedly furnished assistance and directions in the conduct of business of collecting, transporting and selling the said government trophies with intent to reap benefit, promote and further the objective of criminal racket.

Philemon is facing a separate count of escaping from lawful custody.

The prosecution told the court that the accused person committed the offence on May 21, last year, at Sinza Palestina Hospital in Kinondoni District in the city. It is alleged that the accused person escaped from lawful custody of a police officer who was holding him under custody on allegations of dealing in government trophies and leading organised crimes.