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Taiwanese rhino poachers get 29 years in Swazi jail

Two Taiwanese men have been convicted for poaching and killing four rhinos, and further sentenced to 29 years’ imprisonment each, APA can report on Friday.
On top of that, Judge John Magagula of the High Court of Swaziland ordered the duo of Hsiao Chen Hao (54) and Chen Bei-Hsun (30) to replace the four rhinos they dehorned by paying $13, 3000.According to court papers in possession of APA, the Taiwanese were convicted of contravening the Game Act of 1953, after they were found in possession of 24 pieces of rhino horns worth about $2.4 million at King Mswati III International Airport on February 25, 2017 while they were on their way to Taiwan.
They were charged with unlawful possession, trading or trafficking the rhino horns and exporting them. For unlawful possession, they were sentenced to nine years imprisonment each and 11 years for trading and trafficking the horn pieces.
Judge John Magagula further sentenced them to a period of nine years for exporting the trophies of rhino horns. The judge ordered that these sentences should run concurrently, meaning that each of the convicts will serve a prison term of 11 years. If they fail to compensate the owners of the rhinos, they will serve an additional sentence of four years each, bringing the total to 15 years.
Three of the rhinos were poached in the Republic of South Africa, while the fourth one was dehorned in Swaziland.

In 2016 Swaziland made a proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) to legalise the trade in rhino horn in order to pay for anti-poaching measures.
In the documents addressed, Cites Swaziland’s anti-poaching body said it wanted to sell the country’s 330kg stockpile of horns collected from naturally deceased animals and confiscated from poachers.
The country proposed to sell a further 20kg each year, raising $600,000, by harvesting horns from living herds.


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