Good news from Swazilnd!
Yesterday the sentencing of the 2 Taiwanese traffickers CHEN Bei Sun and HSIAO Chen Hao arrested with 24 pieces of white rhino horn at KM 3 international airport plus 7 pieces intercepted at OR Tambo.
In spite of application pending hearing before another judge for a mistrial to be declared and the case started afresh, there was no application for a stay of execution of sentencing and the trial judge had recused himself from hearing this application.The trial judge was free to proceed with sentencing- which he did. both accused having pleaded guilty to all charges and mitigation having been duly considered.
Count 1. possession of rhino trophies both sentenced to 9 years without option of a fine.
Count 2. Trafficikng of rhino trophies Both sentenced to 11 years without option of fine
Count 3. Export of rhino trophies. Both sentenced to 9 years without the option of a fine.
No suspension of any part of sentence. Sentences to run concurrently from date of arrest.
Plus compensation to owners of E/R 40 000 for each of the 3 rhinos linked to poaching scenes in SA by DNA and a 4th one suspected to have been poached in Swaziland in the not too distant past. Failure to compensate will result in offenders serving a further 4yrs imprisonment.
The prosecution and investigating team has good reason to be proud! A big thank
you to all in SA that helped with various aspects of this case.
The South African authorities have put in motion the required processes for these criminals to stand trial in South Africa for charges relating to rhino poaching and trafficking once they have finished serving sentence in Swaziland.