Elephant Tusks in Sacks of Garlic

A market vendor, wearing a face mask, stands in front of a large pile of sacks containing garlic at an outdoor food market in Beijing November 25, 2009. REUTERS/David Gray

One man has been arrested and warrants issued for three more individuals in connection with ongoing investigations into two organised crime networks believed to have trafficked at least 8 635 kg of ivory and 53 kg of rhino horn from East and Southern Africa to Asia.  A 44-year-old Chinese national was arrested in Tanzania on suspicion of trafficking in trophies following the deployment of INTERPOL Investigative Support Teams (IST) to Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.,,

In March 2016, an investigation by Tanzanian authorities supported by INTERPOL led to the conviction of two Chinese nationals for illegal ivory possession and attempting to bribe police and officials from the national wildlife department. Each was sentenced to 30 years in prison.  Qin Huang and Fujie Xu were arrested in Dar Es Salam in possession of more than 700 elephant tusks worth approximately $3 million, which were concealed in sacks of garlic.

INTERPOL provided assistance to the Tanzanian investigation through the analysis of travel records, financial transactions and other evidence, including seized mobile phones which were sent to the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore for digital forensic examination….INTERPOL’s Project Wisdom was supported by the Wildcat Foundation, which aims to disrupt and dismantle the major transnational criminal syndicates engaged in the illegal trade of African elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Excerpts from Organised crime networks behind ivory and rhino horn trafficking in East Africa targeted, defenceWeb/INTERPOL, May 5, 2016

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