A Chinese ivory smuggling kingpin deported from Africa with LATF support jailed for 11 years in China

A Mr. XUE, Chinese citizen who was deported from Kenya in January 2014 to China for illegal ivory trafficking, was successfully prosecuted and jailed by a Chinese court for 11 years. Jingmei XUE was arrested in Nairobi during the first ever China-Africa joint sting intelligence led operation coordinated by Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) as part of the international operation code-named “operation Cobra II” that was conducted by 28 countries in Asia and Africa to crack down on wildlife crimes early 2014.

XUE was charged for smuggling 1,226 pieces of ivory beads from Kenya to China during November 2013 and was being sought by the Chinese government to face charges in Shenyang Court Case No. 1127. Intelligence confirmed that XUE was running a network that in several incidents smuggled out elephant ivory from Africa to China. Further, evidence linked him to a number of elephant range states but some sources suggested that the true extent of his involvement in the illegal ivory trade, which saw in recent years tens of thousands of elephant slaughtered, might be considerably greater.

This case received a wide publicity and was highlighted as one of the model case of the China-Africa cooperation in fighting against the illicit trade of wildlife. LATF considers collaboration and networking as key to combating wildlife crime and is working with authorities in China including the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of Customs and the National Inter-agency CITES Enforcement Coordination Group of China to cement collaboration towards combating transnational wildlife crime.

We owe this success to the critical role played by Kenya Wildlife Service and immigration department during the operation as well as commitment by the Government of China to tackling of the vice. This is another significant milestone in the history of the South- South cooperation achieved with LATF’s intervention hence making it difficult for wildlife criminals to continue operating across Africa and Asia.

LATF encourages all countries and wildlife conservation stakeholders to enhance their support to its interventions to win the war against wildlife traffickers in Africa and beyond.