In China, 17 people were sentenced to lengthy sentences, including two for life, on charges of belonging to the largest ivory smuggling network in the country that generated millions of dollars in revenue from trafficking in ivory smuggled from Africa.
Two men described as the masterminds of the network were sentenced to life in prison, a sentence marked by rare harshness.
The prison term ranged from two years to 15 years in the sentences handed down against the other 15 convicted persons.
In recent decades, networks have been active in trading ivory smuggled from Africa after it was obtained in illegal fishing, in light of the increasing interest of the Chinese in acquiring ivory carvings and jewelry.
The total value of smuggling from Nigeria and other countries not mentioned by the statement, exceeded one billion yuan ($ 153 million).
The shipments were passing through Singapore or South Korea, according to the court, which spoke of the largest smuggling of ivory since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
China banned trade in ivory at the end of 2017, after it was its largest global market, and importing ivory into the country has been banned since 2015, and these measures have contributed to improving the situation without eliminating the black market.