Lilongwe, September 30, Mana: The Lilongwe Magistrates court on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 sentenced a Chinese national, Lin Yun Hua to 14 years imprisonment for possession and dealing in pieces of rhino horns as well as money laundering in relation to 103 rhino horns cut pieces.
Hua was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for dealing in rhino horns, another 14 years for possession of rhino horns and six years for money laundering. The sentences will run concurrently.
Passing the judgment on behalf of Justice Violet Chipao who has been presiding over the case since 2019, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana said Lin will be deported back to China after serving his sentence in Malawi.
Msekandiana added that, the nature of the offenses and their seriousness does not warrant a noncustodial sentence as it was requested by the defense.
However, she said that the defense is at liberty to appeal the sentence within 30 days from the day of Hua’s conviction.
Hua was arrested in August 2019 after police found rhino horns cut pieces at his house which he confessed to be the owner.
In his comment, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Director, Brighton Kumchedwa hailed the sentence handed down to Hua.
“It is critical that wildlife criminals feel the full weight of the law and the message needs to be loud and clear that Malawi is no longer a playground for the likes of Hua that exploit our natural heritage, damage our economy, incite corruption and pose a risk to the national security,” Kumchedwa said.