“Ivory Queen” Busted–Corruption and Tanzania’s ivory trade 落网的“象牙女王”

The recent arrest of the Chinese trafficker, nicked named  “Ivory Queen”  in Dar is a striking message among elephant conservationist and my fellow NGO colleagues. It is reported at least 706 elephant tusks worth about $2.5 million (RMB 19 million) was smuggled by her.

Yang Feng Glen, the 66 year- old Chinese business woman is thought to be the most notorious ivory trafficker arrested in Tanzania so far. She ran a sophisicated supply chain of ivory between East Africa and China for 14 years.  The insiders commented Tanzania authority finally caught a big fish!

It’s a very delicate case also because of the sophisticated connections between Yang and the officials working in the Chinese embassy in Dar. The ambassador of Tanzania commented on Yang’s arrest, “We welcome any enforcement effort from the Tanzanian authority, but in the meanwhile we want them to ensure suspect’s legal right. “

What I found interesting was that in 2014, Yang Feng Glen was invited as a railway expert for a wildlife conservation event held by the Chinese embassy in Dar. (see here:http://tz.chineseembassy.org/chn/dhwz/t1199994.htm) This close tie with the local officials really makes people wonder the real connections behind the scene.

Once convicted, Ms Yang will face 20-30 years in prison. Tanzania should really learn from its neighbour Kenay on elephants conservation despite the huge elephant population.

Stay Wild xxx