On August 26, 2019, the Maputo Judicial Court sentenced a Chinese citizen to 15 years in prison and a heavy fine. He had been arrested at Maputo International Airport in possession of 4.2 kg of rhinoceros horns intended for the Chinese market.
ANAC, Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, was pleased with the decision, and issued a statement: “It’s the first time a foreign citizen has been convicted in Mozambique for a crime against wild animals.”
This conviction is the hard-earned reward for ANAC’s fight against poaching. A lucrative and illegal global trade in rhino horns and elephant tusks has been fuelled by high demand in Asian markets, presenting a constant threat to the great mammals and their vulnerable populations. Mozambique is particularly affected.
AFD has been providing support to ANAC since 2016 in the management of the two largest protected areas in Mozambique: Limpopo National Park and Niassa National Reserve. Since 2017, AFD has also helped boost Mozambique’s surveillance capacities, through APPEM – the Conservation Areas and Elephant Protection Project – which works to improve law enforcement, combat poaching more effectively and better protect large mammals. As part of the project a lawyer was hired, paving the way for the conviction in August.