Woman sentenced for ivory smuggling

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Johannesburg - A Chinese woman was sentenced to a R50 000 fine or three years' imprisonment by the Kempton Park Regional Court on Wednesday for trying to smuggling ivory through South Africa, the SA Revenue Service said.

“She attempted to smuggle 12.7kg ivory, two lion claws and 10 Pangolin scales to Hong Kong,” spokesman Adrian Lackay said in a statement.

“The items were detected in her check-in baggage after information regarding the consignment was received by Sars.”

Jialing Yang, 58, from Guangdong province in China, was arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport on Friday. She was en route to Hong Kong from Dubai.

“She stated that she had bought the ivory tusks and worked ivory, including ivory combs, ornaments, bangles and pendants at a flea market in Mozambique.”

Four men and three women were subsequently arrested at Hong Kong International Airport between Friday and Sunday following co-operation between Sars, the SA police, and Interpol. The seven had travelled to Hong Kong from Dubai via Johannesburg.

Hong Kong's Tsuen Wan Magistrate's Court handed down sentences of imprisonment and fines ranging from HKD30 000 (about R39 000) to HKD 80 000 (about R106 000) to these smugglers.


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