Will the Queen of Ivory reveal her hand?

Dear Friends of Wildlife

The recent arrest in Tanzania of Chinese national, Yang Feng Glan, the 67 year old Vice-President of the Tanzania China-Africa Business Council, could prove to be a tipping-point for conservation in that country.  According to The Elephant Action League (who call her the Queen of Ivory) Glan has been trafficking in ivory since at least 2006 and has confessed to being the mastermind behind the deaths of 30,000 or more elephants and the trafficking of hundreds of thousands of kilos of ivory.

Tanzania has apparently lost 85,000 elephants to poaching between 2009 and 2014.

Is her arrest good news?  Maybe – maybe not.

It would appear that Glan has confessed and intends to offer no defense during her prosecution. She takes sole responsibility for the elephant slaughter that has swept Tanzania for so many years.  That means that the names of all those who have either assisted her, supported her or protected her may never come to light. She will take the rap for everything and the corrupt individuals, institutions and officials that are complicit in one of the world’s biggest wildlife crimes may never be brought to justice.

Aristotle said, “One swallow does not a summer make.”  By the same token, Glan’s arrest and possible conviction will not necessarily get to the root-cause of the malignant criminality that has pervaded the wildlife sector in Tanzania for so long, nor mark a new and more positive future for conservation.

Can anything be done about this?  I recommend an international committee of enquiry (a sort of International Court for Wildlife Crime, modeled on the ICC) be established to follow every single lead wherever it takes, however high, in this and all serious wildlife crimes.

If Tanzania is to regain credibility with the global community in terms of its wildlife conservation agenda, all those who have helped make Yang Feng Glan (she faces 20-30 years in prison if convicted) the ‘Queen of Ivory’ are brought to book, her ‘court’ is dismantled and her ‘courtiers’ imprisoned.

Oh and, by the way, let’s mysteriously lose the key!

Blogging off


See www.bloodyivory.org for more information on the ivory trade

3 Responses to “Will the Queen of Ivory reveal her hand?”

  1. Daniel Stiles Says:

    The depressing thing is that if this report is true, it means that she is confident of gaining her freedom – one way or another.

  2. Donna Johnston Says:

    Dark room, one bright light over small table, interrogation. Okay, most likely can’t do that so I like your idea of an international committee and then loosing the key. Both of those work for me.

  3. Chloe Abbatt Says:

    I think Tanzania should ask Glan to pay an enormous fine, as well as imprisonment. After all she has been making an enormous profit for many years. This money should then be used both to help re-establish the numbers of elephants and employ local people to protect them, and also to track down smugglers and punish them likewise with both heavy fines and imprisonment.