Mozambique Jails Poaching Gang Leader for 30 Years

A Mozambican court has sentenced a poaching gang leader to 30 years in prison.

Judges in Maputo Province found Admiro Chauque guilty of unlawful possession of weapons and a number of poaching offences committed in southern Mozambique and the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

A statement issued by the Mozambican Ministry of Environment on Wednesday stated that Admiro Chauque “led a gang of poachers operating in Magude and Massingir districts and the Kruger National Park in South Africa.”

The ministry noted that the man had also been sentenced to pay a fine of 1 percent of the minimum wage for 28 years for the crimes of poaching, illegal possession of weapons and association to commit offences.

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According to authorities, the accused was arrested on May 3, 2021, as he was returning from an attempt to hunt rhinoceros for the second time illegally.

According to National Geographic magazine, rhino horn syndicates are multilevel criminal networks with poachers and couriers managed and paid by regional bosses who control operations and receive rhino horns and sell them to national traders.

They oversee the shipment of horns out of Africa and have connections with buyers in Asia.

In 2019, the Administraço Nacional das Areas de Conservaço (ANAC), a public conservation institute with autonomy, arrested 541 people for wildlife poaching, and 444 people were arrested in 2020. 63% of the accused in 2019 were sentenced to fines and imprisonment.

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