A court in Malawi has handed down a 32-year prison sentence to a Chinese national convicted of wildlife trafficking.
Prosecutors charged Lin Yunhua with possession and illegal sale of rhino horns and money laundering. However, the judge said that the sentences are not cumulative, which means that the convict will spend a total of 14 years behind bars. He will be deported to his home country after serving his sentence, the court said.
Lin Yunhua plans to appeal. At Tuesday’s sentencing, Judge Violet Chipao found Lin Yunhua guilty on three counts, each carrying a 14-year sentence.
According to the indictment Mr. Lin is part of a wildlife trafficking syndicate that has been operating in Malawi for at least ten years. It was in August 2019 that he was arrested after a three-month-long hunt.
Mr. Lin’s conviction brings to 14 the number of members of a wildlife trafficking syndicate sent to prison in the southern African country. They include four Malawian nationals and 10 Chinese nationals, including Mr. Lin’s wife, who is already behind bars after an 11-year sentence. Their daughter was also arrested in December 2020 for alleged money laundering offenses. Her trial is ongoing.