Malawi: Chinese National Jailed in Malawi for Possessing Protected Species

23 January 2020

A Chinese national has been slapped with a two-year jail term for possessing protected species.

The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate's Court has jailed the Chinese national for possessing pangolin scales.

The convict, Jiang Cheng, 54, was convicted on Monday, January 20 of illegal possession of listed species, contrary to Section 86 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

The court heard from state prosecutor Sub Inspector John Kamphani of Central Region Police Headquarters that on May 19, 2019 police officers, acting on a tip-off, searched Cheng's home and found 405 scales of pangolin.

He was arrested and has since then been on remand awaiting trial.

Appearing before court Qiang Cheng pleaded guilty to the charge.

In his submission before sentence, Prosecutor Kamphani asked the court to give a stiffer and custodial sentence considering that the animals are on the verge of extinction.

He added that Cheng shouldn't be fined as he is an able person and could easily escape jail if given an opportunity to pay a fine.

Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana concurred with the state that imposing a fine on the convict will not serve give a lesson to the convict and others since the offence is a serious one that carries a maximum sentence of 30 yearsin prison.

She then sentenced the convict to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour.

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