Participation in an organized criminal group

Offences

• Participation in criminal activities of organized criminal group
• Organizing, directing, aiding, abetting, facilitating or counselling the commission of a crime involving an organized criminal group

Wildlife, forest and fisheries crime

Offences

• Wildlife crime

Prohibited Act

• Acquisition/Possession/Ownership
• Transfer/Transportation
• International trade (import, export, re-export)

Subject

• CITES / International protected species
• Domestic protected species
• Trophy

Details

• Undocumented/unlicensed conduct
• CITES protected species

Other Details

• Unlicensed conduct

Keywords

• Acquisition/Possession/Ownership
• Transfer/Transportation
• International trade (import, export, re-export)
• Domestic protected species
• International protected species (e.g. CITIES)
• Trophy
• Documentation

R. v. Salvius Francis Matembo et al, Economic Crime Case No. 21 of 2014 (DSM)

Fact Summary

In 2015, three perpetrators named Salvius Francis Matembo, Manase Julius Philemon and Yang Feng Glan were found guilty of running one of Africa’s biggest ivory-smuggling rings in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The latter, Yang Feng Glan, was an influential business woman who was publicly referred to as the “Ivory Queen”. The three individuals were accused of smuggling 860 elephant tusks, worth more than 5.4 billion Tanzanian shilling (around USD 2.5 million) between 2000 and 2014.

In total, 11 witnesses testified against the trio. They were able to report that Yang Feng Glan, the head of the operations, received ivory tusks from the other two perpetrators and shipped them through the port of Dar Es Salaam to Asia. The witnesses were individuals that had been contracted by the perpetrators in the capacity of their respective professions, such as security guard, taxi driver, waiter or banker. The perpetrators denied all accusations; however, the considerable evidence eventually led the judge to rule for a resounding 15 years imprisonment for each of the three culprits. Furthermore, the court ordered buildings used for the illegal operations to be confiscated and a fine double the value of ivory trafficked.

An appeal was rejected in January 2020.

Commentary and Significant Features

The case Republic v Salvius Francis Matembo; Manase Julius Philemon; Yang Feng Glan received a wide attention from the media. Yang Feng Glan was identified as the main perpetrator and was soon after referred to as the “Ivory Queen”, making her a notorious king pin.
Intensifying the public interest in the case was the long period of time the illegal business was maintained (14 years); the amount of money generated (5.4 billion Tanzanian shilling - around $US 2.5 million); the iconic specimen trafficked (elephant ivory); and the fact that a female foreigner, who held a public position, was heading the illegal operations.

Adding to the severity of the case was the fact that Yang Feng Glan was involved in several public and private engagements during the time of her arrest. She was the vice-president of the China-Africa Business Council and operating a Chinese restaurant as well as an investment company in Tanzania. Moreover, she was fluent in Swahili, having lived in Tanzania for several years already.
The case was publicly welcomed as the perpetrators were pivotal figures in the illegal scheme and not merely minor players. China has publicly backed Tanzania’s sentence and called for the appropriate application of respective laws.

Sentence Date:
2019-02-15

Cross Cutting

Liability

... for

• completed offence

... based on

• criminal intention

... as involves

• principal offender(s)
• organiser/director
• participant, facilitator, accessory

Offending

Details

• involved an organized criminal group (Article 2(a) CTOC)
• occurred across one (or more) international borders (transnationally)

Involved Countries

United Republic of Tanzania

Investigation

Involved Agencies

• Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism (United Republic of Tanzania)
• Directorate of Criminal Investigations (United Republic of Tanzania)
• Police of Kijtionyama (United Republic of Tanzania)
• Ministry of Home Affairs (United Republic of Tanzania)

Confiscation and Seizure

Seized Property:

Seizure of buildings and a shamba at Muheza Maili Saba

 

• Gender Dimension

Procedural Information

Legal System:
Mixed System
Type of Proceeding:
Criminal
 
 
Proceeding #1:
  • Stage:
    first trial
  • Is the decision appealable?:
    No
  • Official Case Reference:
    R. v. Salvius Francis Matembo et al, Economic Crime Case No. 21 of 2014 (DSM)
  • Court

    Court Title:

    Resident Magistrate's Court of Dar-es-Salaam

     

    Location

  • City/Town:
    Kisutu
  • Province:
    Dar es Salaam
  • • Criminal

    Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

    Defendant:
    Salvius Francis Matembo
    Gender:
    Male
    Nationality:
    Tanzanian
    Born:
    positive integer value
    Defendant:
    Manase Julius Philemon
    Gender:
    Male
    Nationality:
    Tanzanian
    Defendant:
    Yang Feng Glan
    Gender:
    Female
    Nationality:
    Chinese
    Age:
    positive integer value
    Born:
    positive integer value

    Charges / Claims / Decisions

    Defendant:
    Salvius Francis Matembo
    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Leading organised crime

    The accused was charged with, on diverse dates between 1 January 2000 and 22 May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, jointly and together, knowingly furnishing assistance and direction in the conduct of the business of criminal racket by collecting, transporting and selling government trophies, namely 860 elephant tusks, valued at TZS 5,435,865,000, without a permit and with intent to benefit and promote further the objectives of the criminal racket.

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Paragraph 4(1)(a) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Unlawful dealing in trophies

    The accused was charged with, on diverse dates between 1 January 2000 and 22 May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, jointly and together, carrying out business in government trophies through purchasing and selling 860 pieces of elephant tusks, valued at TZS 5,435,865,000, without a license

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Sections 80(1) and (2), 84(1) and part 1 of the first schedule the Wildlife Conservation Act, in conjunction with paragraph 14(b) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Term of Imprisonment:
    15 years
     
    Fine / Payment to State:
    Yes  10871730000  TZS  (More than 500,000 USD)  
    Defendant:
    Manase Julius Philemon
    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Leading organised crime

    The accused was charged with, on diverse dates between 1 January 2000 and 22 May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, jointly and together, knowingly furnishing assistance and direction in the conduct of the business of criminal racket by collecting, transporting and selling government trophies, namely 860 elephant tusks, valued at TZS 5,435,865,000, without a permit and with intent to benefit and promote further the objectives of the criminal racket.

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Paragraph 4(1)(a) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Unlawful dealing in trophies

    The accused was charged with, on diverse dates between 1 January 2000 and 22 May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, jointly and together, carrying out business in government trophies through purchasing and selling 860 pieces of elephant tusks, valued at TZS 5,435,865,000, without a license

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Sections 80(1) and (2), 84(1) and part 1 of the first schedule the Wildlife Conservation Act, in conjunction with paragraph 14(b) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Term of Imprisonment:
    15 years
     
    Fine / Payment to State:
    Yes  10871730000  TZS  (More than 500,000 USD)  
    Defendant:
    Yang Feng Glan
    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Leading organised crime

    The accused was charged with, on diverse dates between 1 January 2000 and 22 May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, intentionally organising, managing and financing a criminal racket by collecting, transporting and selling government trophies, namely 860 elephant tusks, valued at TZS 5,435,865,000, without a permit.

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Paragraph 4(1)(a) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Verdict:
    Guilty
    Charge / Claim:

    Unlawful dealing in trophies; On diverse dates between 1st January 2000 and 22nd May 2014 within the city and Region of Dar-Es-Salaam, jointly and together, carried out business in government trophies through purchasing and selling 860 pieces of elephant tusks, valued at 5,435,865,000 Tanzanian Shilling, without a license

    Legislation / Statute / Code:

    Sections 80(1) and (2), 84(1) and part 1 of the first schedule the Wildlife Conservation Act, in conjunction with paragraph 14(b) of the first schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of, the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act

    Term of Imprisonment:
    15 years
     
    Fine / Payment to State:
    10871730000  TZS  (More than 500,000 USD)  

    Court

    Resident Magistrate's Court of Dar-es-Salaam

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