21 Dec 2016 18:40pm
RUNDU, 21 DEC (NAMPA) - Close to 100 Chinese businesspersons in Rundu and their employees took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the illegal trade of animal products through poaching.
The group marched from the Engen Service Station through the central business district to the office of Kavango East Region Governor, Samuel Mbambo to deliver their petition.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Chen Qiao Ling said the immoral trade not only profits from the death of endangered species, but is harming Chinas relationship with Namibia.
She was referring to the arrest of several Chinese nationals over the past years for possession of rhino horn and/or elephant tusks.
This, she said, is aggravating the countrys efforts to stem poaching and harms Chinas international reputation. Thus, they condemn the criminal activities carried out by their fellow nationals.
We, the Chinese community in the Kavango East Region, are not happy with some of the activities carried out by some individuals in the peaceful country Namibia.
She said when they entered Namibia through the immigration system and crossed borders, they were welcomed with warm smiles by the Namibian people because of China and Namibias strong relationship that has brought the Chinese business community to Namibia.
Hence, we appeal to both governments to deal with the culprits who are involved in the poaching of elephants and rhinos for tusks and horns.
The petition was received by the Chief Control Officer at the governor's office, Bonny Kahare, who said their petition will reach the relevant authority.
Last month, a Chinese man was arrested in South Africa when found with 18 rhino horns worth N.dollars 6.6 million suspected to have been smuggled from Namibia. The suspect had flown from the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) in Windhoek and was arrested by the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime squad of the South African Police at the OR Tambo International Airport.
Also in November, two Chinese nationals were detained for allegedly smuggling elephant tusks that were cut into small pieces and stuffed into instant coffee tins. They were on their way to the HKIA.
International demand for rhino horns and elephant tusks has increased over the years for use in Chinese medicine and to display for wealth.