Windhoek-Two Chinese nationals found in possession of wildlife products were fined N$50,000 each in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Li Qiang and Zhang Weiyou were arrested earlier this year after being found in possession of wildlife meat that they were attempting to export after they came to Namibia for trophy hunting.
“This court takes judicial notice that the offences committed by the Chinese nationals are in contravention of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act, a prevalent offence that is on the increase and showing no signs of abating,” said magistrate Vanessa Stanley before handing down sentence.
Li, 46, and 55-year-old-Zhang were each sentenced to pay a fine of N$50,000 or to serve 12 months in prison.
“The court is swayed by the fact that the accused were found in possession of presumably legally hunted meat which has no or little economic value,” explained Stanley.
The guilty plea by the accused indicated they acknowledged the crime and were remorseful.
According to the prosecution Li and Zhang were found in possession of elephant meat (value not stated) without a permit (although having a permit to hunt), which they were attempting to export.
According to the defence team the pair ware first-time offenders who committed the offence in their prime years.
They allegedly paid US$75,000 (N$1,016,250) for trophy hunting which is a direct economic benefit to the Namibian society, and they are not a threat to the Namibian society or its wildlife, indicated the defence.