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Chinese national jailed 10 years for ivory

September 8, 2014

A South African court has given a Chinese National the longest sentence ever in the country for possession of ivory.
Cheng Jie Liang, who has lived in South Africa since 2003, received a 10 year sentence with three years suspended if he pays his fine for possession of one ton of poached elephant tusks that he had in a storage unit.
It was alleged that he was high up in a smuggling ring.
The Cape Times reported:
“In passing sentence, Magistrate Johan Venter questioned why Liang had come to South Africa.

“Immediately after he had arrived in 2003 he had been convicted of illegal abalone possession.

“And here you stand before court again and are found to be part of a syndicate… It is still a mystery where you get your income and where it is paid. Why this mystery? The question arises, is it not perhaps from the syndicate, that is why it is not disclosed?” Venter said.

“He referred to judgements which said the personal interests of the accused should not prevail above those of the public. Sentences should be a deterrent, so potential poachers and smugglers would know they were be prosecuted and properly sentenced.”

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