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Chinese 'Ivory Queen' Yang Fenglan jailed in Tanzania

February 20, 2019 5:16 am

Tanzania has sentenced Yang Fenglan, a Chinese businesswoman nicknamed the “Ivory Queen”, to 15 years in jail for smuggling hundreds of elephant tusks.

Yang was accused of operating one of Africa’s biggest ivory-smuggling rings, responsible for smuggling $2.5m (£1.9m) worth of tusks from some 400 elephants.

Two Tanzanian men were also found guilty of involvement in the ring.

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Ivory poaching is said to have caused a 20% decline in the population of African elephants in the last decade.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global environmental body, says the population of African elephants has fallen to 415,000 – a drop of 110,000 over the last 10 years – as a result of poaching.

The illicit trade is fuelled by demand from China and east Asia, where ivory is used to make jewellery and ornaments.

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