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by Paul Thomas Kadushi -

Kuwait national in court over tortoise haul

KUWAIT national Hussein Ahmed Ally Mansour appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday, charged with three counts of conspiracy, leading organised crime and unlawful possession of government trophies.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate Frank Moshi, the Kuwaiti who was found in unlawful possession of 173 tortoises was charged alongside a Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) employee, Jovin Charles Kafumu. The duo were not allowed to enter plea to the charges because their charges fall under Economic Crime Control Act.

The magistrate told the accused persons that they would be able to enter plea to the charges if the matter would be referred to the High Court for trial or upon the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issuing a certificate to authorise the Subordinate Court to hear and determine the matter.

He also informed them that the DPP has issued a certificate to object bail to the accused persons at the moment on the ground that once provisionally released would jeopardise the public interests. Under such circumstances, therefore, the magistrate ordered them to go to remand.

The case will be mentioned on July 13, as investigations, according to the prosecution, have not been completed. It is alleged that between June 1 and 23, this year, in the city, the two accused persons conspired to commit offences of unlawful possession and transportation of government trophies.

On June 23, this year, at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Ilala District, Mansour and Kafumu, who works with the authority as security officer and hence being a public official, jointly allegedly intentionally furthered a criminal racket of unlawful possession and transportation of government trophies.

The prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi and State Attorney Paul Kadushi, further told the court that on the same day, Mansour was found in possession of 173 tortoises valued at 27,005,300/-, property of the government without a permit from the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

Meanwhile, a businessman, Charles Andrew Samila, was arraigned before the same court accused of trafficking a narcotic drug, Heroin Hydrochloride, valued at 79m/-.

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Ex-Minister sentenced over K2million (USD 300,000)

by Kudzai Chinoda -


Ex-Minister sentenced over K2million (USD 300,000)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday 2nd June, 2015 upheld the two-year jail sentence with hard labour imposed on former minister of labour and social security Austin Liato by the Lusaka Magistrate's Court for possession of K2.1 million reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Supreme Court judge Mumba Malila sitting in Ndola sentenced Mr Liato to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour for possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime. Mr Justice Malila further ordered that Liato's farm number L/Mpamba/44 in Mwembeshi area, and the K2.1 million which was in his possession be forfeited to the State.

Liato was on 23rd July, 2013 convicted and sentenced to 24 monthsimprisonment with hard labour by the Lusaka Magistrate's Court, which also ordered that his farm and the money, which he had buried on the property, be forfeited to the State but the sentence was later quashed by the Lusaka High Court.

The State appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the High Court erred in law when it held that to prove reasonable suspicion under section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010 (FPCA), the prosecution had to link between the source of money or the accused to possible criminal conduct among other grounds of appeal.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Malila stated that: '' The money was buried underground in a chalet at the convict's farm and the top was sealed with concrete. This raises a lot of questions on whether the money was gotten legitimately. This court holds the view, therefore that the money was ill-gotten as no one would conceal money the way the convict did even if one had lost faith in the banking system in the country''.

The High court judgement was therefore, set aside and uphold that of the lower court. Mr Liato was charged with possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71(1) Act number 19 of 2010 of the laws of Zambia.

In November, 2011 in Lusaka the Government Joint Investigations Team (GJIT) comprising the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Zambia Police (ZP) arrested and charged Liato for being in possession of K2.1 million which was reasonably suspected to be Proceeds of crime. Liato served as Minister in the MMD Government which lost power to the current Government in September, 2011.

The judgement is a landmark achievement and sets a precedence in the fight against fraud, corruption and money laundering in my country.

About the FPCA

The FPCA was enacted by the Parliament of Zambia on 16th April, 2010. Proceeds of crime according to the Act, in relation to a serious offence or a foreign serious offence, means property or benefit that is -

a)wholly or partly derived or realised directly or indirectly, by any person from the commission of a serious offence or a foreign serious offence;

b)wholly or partly derived or realised from a disposal or other dealing with proceeds of a serious offence or a foreign serious offence;

c)wholly or partly acquired proceeds of a serious offence or a foreign serious offence; and includes, on a proportional basis, property into which any property derived or realised directly from the serious offence or foreign serious offence is later converted, transformed or intermingled, and any income, capital or other economic gains derived or realised from the property at any time after the offence; or any property that is derived or realised, directly or indirectly, by any person from any act or omission that occurred outside Zambia and would, if the act or omission had occurred in Zambia, have constituted a serious offence.

Section 71 (1) Act 19of 2010

71. (1) A person who, after the commencement of this Act, receives, possesses, conceals, disposes of or brings into Zambia any money, or other property, that may reasonably be suspected of being proceeds of crime commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to--

a)if the offender is a natural person, imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years; or

b)if the offender is a body corporate, a fine not exceeding seven hundred thousand penalty units.

(2)It is a defence under this section, if a person satisfies the court that the person had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the property referred to in the charge was derived or realised, directly or indirectly, from any unlawful activity.

(3)The offence under subsection (1) is not predicated on proof of the commission of a serious offence or foreign serious offence.



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by Kudzai Chinoda -


Malawi - 16 June 2015. Business person and former People's Party senior member Oswald Lutepo has been convicted on his own plea of guilty on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud government of K4.2 Bn between April and September 2013.

Following his plea in High Court in Zomba yesterday, Lutepo becomes the seventh person to be convicted on Cashgate-related charges since arrests began in 2013.

His lawyer, Oswald mtupila and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Apoche Itimu confirmed the development in seperate interviews yesterday. Mtupila said his client decided to plead guilty to save the court's time and resources at the commencement of the trial. Said Mtupila "It is true that he [Lutepo] has pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him.

Read more in the attached file..

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Successful operation highlights growing international cooperation to combat wildlife crime

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Successful operation highlights growing international cooperation to combat wildlife crime

Photo: Operation COBRA18 June 2015 - The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) welcomed today the results achieved during Operation COBRA III, an international law enforcement operation conducted in May 2015 with the aim of combating wildlife crime and bringing the criminals involved to justice.

Operation COBRA III resulted in 139 arrests and more than 247 seizures, which included elephant ivory, medicinal plants, rhino horns, pangolins, rosewood, tortoises and many other plant and animal specimens. Key successes during the operation included the arrest of a Chinese national believed to have been coordinating rhino horn smuggling from Namibia, the arrest of a notorious elephant poacher in India and the seizure of 340 elephant tusks and 65 rhino horns in Mozambique. Over 50,000 illegal wildlife items were seized in the United Kingdom, as well as an additional 10,000 in Austria and 5,000 in Germany, which included large volumes of illegal supplement capsules containing wildlife products. Other countries where large numbers of illegal items were seized include China, Singapore and South Africa. In total, 37 countries reported seizures and/or arrests during the operation.

UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, highlighted that "the success of Operation COBRA III sheds light on the widespread and intricate network of criminals who are profiting from wildlife trafficking worldwide. While I congratulate the participating countries on these seizures, I also hope that equal emphasis is placed on the prosecutions and intelligence-led investigations which have to follow. It is key to keep in mind that it takes a network to defeat a network."

Multilateral cooperation and collective efforts stood at the centre of the operation organized by regional enforcement networks and intergovernmental organizations under the chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) Law Enforcement Extension Office. Officers from customs, police, forestry, wildlife and other law enforcement agencies from 62 countries in Africa, America, Asia and Europe worked together closely to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

Mr. John E. Scanlon, the Secretary-General of CITES, said "Operation COBRA III is a great example of the collaboration that is needed between multiple organizations, disciplines and agencies to combat organized transnational wildlife crimes. It is most encouraging to see enforcement agencies working together across source, transit and destination States to combat these serious wildlife crimes, which makes it increasingly likely that these illicit activities will be detected and the criminals behind them brought to justice."

ICCWC made a significant contribution to Operation COBRA III by providing financial, operational and technical support. Generous funding to ICCWC by the European Commission enabled the consortium to fund the establishment and operation of an International Coordination Team in Bangkok, staffed by representatives from participating countries, wildlife enforcement networks and intergovernmental organizations. This significantly promoted cooperation and information sharing and provided an opportunity for enforcement officers to work side by side with their counterparts from other countries on identified cases. CENcomm, the World Customs Organization's (WCO) secure and encrypted communication tool enabled investigators to exchange real time intelligence and information, and to target and track suspicious cargoes, poachers and traffickers of endangered species.

"Wildlife poaching and smuggling continue to threaten many endangered species with extinction.  Cooperative enforcement operations such as this one are crucial to combat these nefarious activities and to raise awareness of the problem's scale. I commend the customs authorities and other agencies that are making a difference on the ground in the struggle against wildlife crime," said WCO's Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya.

INTERPOL on behalf of ICCWC led the support provided by the consortium during Operation COBRA III. "International collaboration to address wildlife crime is the main priority of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime. It is through initiatives like Operation COBRA III that ICCWC can provide support and guidance to countries to help them prioritize transnational investigations of wildlife crime, enhance the impact of their enforcement activities, and ensure the appropriate investigative follow-up occurs," said Mr. Cees Van Duijn, Coordinator of biodiversity projects with INTERPOL's Environmental Security unit.

Officers from INTERPOL, the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) and the WCO East and South Africa RILO worked with national law enforcement agencies and wildlife enforcement networks in the Bangkok International Coordination Team. The CITES Secretariat supported the operation from its Geneva office and analysts from UNODC were deployed to assist with the collection and analysis of data.

Mr. Vatanarak Suranartyuth, Director of ASEAN-WEN Law Enforcement Extension Office noted that "the success of Operation COBRA III resulted from the commitment of all partners to exchange intelligence and tackle the illegal wildlife trade across source, transit, and consumer countries." Mr. Suranartyuth also stressed that "we are really focusing on taking action against wildlife crime syndicates by cooperating and coordinating closely through the International Coordination Team and will follow up on our investigations".

Further arrests and prosecutions could be expected, as follow up investigations resulting from the operation continue.

Further information:

UNODC's work on Wildlife and Forest Crime

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Kasane Conference Statement

by Kudzai Chinoda -

10 June 2015, Kasane, Botswana. The Kasane Conference On The Illegal Wildlife Trade held on 25 March 2015 in Botswana and were attended by representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations.

The dignitaries statement was as below:

(i) We, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations*, gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015, recognising the detrimental economic, security, social, and environmental implications of the illegal trade in wildlife, make the following political commitment and call upon the international community to act together to bring this to an end.
(ii) In doing so the Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations which adopted the London Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade reaffirm our determination to implement the commitments made in that Declaration. We welcome the important action already being taken by Governments and others in implementing the actions decided at the London Conference.
(iii) We welcome the action taken by Governments to implement their obligations and commitments under international agreements, including under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
(iv) We also welcome the convening of a number of other high-level events and the commitments to combat the illegal wildlife trade made at them. The London Conference and these events have generated significant momentum at international, regional and national level to enhance efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade more effectively, to raise the profile of illegal wildlife trade and to secure political support for these efforts.
(v) The need for decisive and urgent action to tackle the trafficking of endangered fauna and flora remains greater than ever. Despite efforts to date for many species, the illegal trade, and the poaching which fuels it, is an ongoing and growing problem. To this end we, the Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations which adopted the London Declaration and are represented in Kasane, recognise the progress made since the London Conference and welcome those Governments that are newly participating in the Kasane Conference. All participants commit to provide the political leadership and practical support needed to find a lasting solution to the illegal wildlife trade and decide to take the following actions.
In the In the London Conference Declaration, it was recognised that the illegal wildlife trade can only be effectively tackled if we eradicate both the demand for and supply of illegal wildlife products wherever in the world this occurs. To this end we, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015 commit ourselves, and call upon the international community, to take the following action, to:

Read the rest of the statement in the attached document.

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Rhino horns seized in Mozambique's 'biggest bust' stolen

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Rhino horns seized in Mozambique's 'biggest bust' stolen

By: Simon Bloch, News24 Correspondent2015-05-26 22:45

Cape Town - Sixty-five rhino horns that were seized in an operation heralded as "Mozambique's biggest breakthrough in the war on illegal wildlife trafficking", have been stolen.

According to reports the horns were stolen from the strong-room at the premises of the Police Provincial Command in Mozambique, which was secured with just three padlocks, in the early hours of Friday morning.

Six people have since been arrested in connection with the stolen horns, with an estimated street value of R76m.

The horns were most likely hacked from animals slaughtered in the Kruger National Park.

The nationalities of those arrested are not known, and there is no indication if the horns were recovered.?

Shortly after the approximately 124kg horns were reported missing, newly-elected President Felipe Nyusi, addressed a police parade to mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Mozambican police force.  

During his speech he said: "The news of policemen who join the ranks of the criminals, particularly when I am told that they have the necessary training so as not to commit the crimes they have embraced, deprives me of sleep.”

"When policemen are caught in the gangs trafficking in rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks, and various drugs, or facilitate these same crimes, I am unable to sleep,” Nyusi continued.

 "I cannot sleep when the statistics show an increasing number of police involved in crime."

The rhino horns were seized along with 340 elephant tusks, weighing over 1 000kg, in what was the country's biggest find of illegal wildlife products.

In reaction to the operation prominent environmental activist Carlos Serra said: "It [the recovered horns] should be destroyed to send a message to the world that... we are shifting to another level of intervention in the fight against poaching."

Source: News24 -

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Large Chinese Money Laundering Network Dismantled

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Large Chinese Money Laundering Network Dismantled

Yesterday, Europol supported the Spanish Guardia Civil in carrying out Operation Snake. The operation targeted and dismantled a large transnational organised crime network which operated in Spain and was composed of Chinese citizens laundering the proceeds of various criminal activities.  

Operating since at least 2009, this criminal network is thought to be the subsidiary of an even larger criminal network based in China. Over the last six years, the European branch of the group collected and laundered more than EUR 300 million primarily in southern European countries. Most of the laundered funds are believed to have already been transferred out of the EU.  

The network imported various types of products into the EU, including counterfeit products, using fraudulent document and engaging in excise tax fraud. The criminal network facilitated its activities by establishing complex corporate structures and relying on front men and third parties in their transactions.

Imported products were sold in the EU without declaring excise taxes and generated significant profits of at least EUR 14 million. These undeclared profits were laundered using a large number of low-level associates, who deposited small sums of money in hundreds of personal bank accounts and transferred the money back to China.

Having established an infrastructure to successfully launder significant amounts of money, the Chinese network also offered money laundering and international remittance services to other organised crime groups in exchange for the payment of a negotiated percentage of the laundered funds. The Chinese network had contacts in various EU Member States including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The group also operated several clothing factories in the vicinity of Madrid where Chinese labourers were exploited.

Operation Snake involved more than 200 Spanish law enforcement officers and was supported by Europol's Financial Intelligence Group. The Operation was the result of a complex international criminal investigation lasting for more than two years.

Operation Snake so far resulted in the arrests of 32 members of the Chinese network, the search of 65 private residences and company premises in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia as well as the seizure of 20 high-value vehicles and more than EUR 1 million in cash.

The Operation is still on-going and new arrests and seizures are expected to take place over the next hours and days.

Europol was able to make valuable and tangible contribution to this successful operation by assisting the Spanish Guardia Civil with the deployment of a Europol team to Madrid. The team provided on-the-spot real-time intelligence analysis, which allowed for the identification of several transnational links.

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Money Laundering Via Wildlife Tackled From China to Zambia

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Mbongeni Mguni
March 25, 2015
(Bloomberg) -- Thirty-one governments ranging from China to Zambia agreed to
strengthen laws to clamp down on the illegal wildlife trade, which is worth $10 billion a
"We will pursue organized criminal networks involved in the illegal wildlife trade,” the
governments said in a statement released on Wednesday at a conference in Kasane,
Botswana. Steps will be taken "with regard to the detection of money laundering and
other financial crime connections with illegal wildlife trade.”
The countries agreed to amend legislation to treat wildlife trade crimes as predicate
offenses, meaning that they are considered to be connected to money laundering. That
would make the crimes easier to prosecute.
"The commitment to follow the money is a huge, innovative step that provides a
mechanism to bring down the trafficking kingpins by hitting them where it hurts - in their
pockets,” said Steven Broad, executive director of TRAFFIC, a non governmental
organization that monitors wildlife trade.
Botswana has the world's biggest populations of elephants and borders South Africa,
where poaching of rhinos has surged to record levels. Elephant ivory and rhino horns
are in demand in Asian countries such as China and Vietnam where the growing middle
class is boosting demand for illegal wildlife products. Rhino horn powder is believed to
cure cancer in east Asia.
"China is an interesting player in all this and the skyrocketing demand for illegal wildlife
has come from the growing middle class there,” Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of
Wildlife Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund said in an interview from New York.
"How do we persuade that middle class? that's where there's a lot of work to do.”
Vietnam also attended the conference.
Retrieved from:

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African Elephant Summit and the Kasane Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade

by Gerrit Botha -
07 April 2015, Kasane, Botswana. Both events were held in  Kasane, Botswana and were attended by dignitaries from all over the globe including their Excellencies the Presidents of Botswana and Gabon, the Vice Presidents of Namibia and Zambia, honourable Ministers from Botswana, the UK, SA, China,  Zimbabwe but to mention a few, heads of IGOs, multilateral financial institutions and Senior Officials to give an update, as it were, on the implementation of 14 Urgent Measures "to halt and reverse the trend in killing of elephants and the illegal trade in ivory”, adopted on the 3rd December, 2013.

 Important to our relevance is the implementation of Urgent Measure 1 which reads as follows, "[A]pplying a zero tolerance approach, secure and report on maximum, therefore deterrent, sentences for wildlife crime using a combination of existing laws and strengthened regulatory frameworks for investigation, arrest, seizure and suspected wildlife criminals; such laws may include, inter alia, wildlife, corruption, money laundering, organized crime, fire arms, employment and terrorism laws.” Country reports were therefore presented to measure the level of progress made on  implementation of the Urgent Measures and development of concrete actions to address the challenges and emerging issues based on the London Declaration Commitments. Note also that Urgent Measure 13 reads as follows,”[S]trengthen existing or implement new legislation to classify wildlife trafficking involving organized criminal groups as a "serious crime” to effectively unlock international law enforcement cooperation under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Crime, including mutual legal assistance, asset seizure and forfeiture, extradition and other tools to hold criminals accountable for wildlife crime.” The emphasis comes from the instrument itself.

The web address or soft copies of the reports for our consideration in and around asset forfeiture/recovery and freezing/restraining the proceeds of wildlife crimes will be availed to colleagues once they are available through this platform.

Report done by  Mpho I. M. Letsoalo.

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