The case of the Chen Organised Crime Group (OCG) is significant not only because it is the largest ivory smuggling case that has been convicted in China, but because it effectively dismantled an entire smuggling network from the source point in Africa to distribution in China.
“In December 2020, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China convicted 17 members of a criminal network that was responsible for smuggling at least 20.22 tonnes of elephant ivory from Nigeria to China between 2013 and 2019. The defendants included 16 Chinese nationals and one Malaysian national, while a further two Chinese nationals who were fugitives at that time have since been arrested and are currently facing trial. The sentences received ranged from two years up to life imprisonment with the confiscation of all personal assets, and individual fines up to RMB 5,000,000 (USD 770,273). It is China’s largest ever ivory smuggling case, not only in terms of the quantity of ivory involved, but also the number of people arrested from the same network, and the size of the penalties.”
The Wildlife Justice Commission, “Bringing down the Dragon,” (February 2022) report analyses the smuggling methods used and the criminal enterprise behind the smuggling operation – which shows the resources necessary to counter the complex organised crime networks involved in illegal wildlife trade/trafficking.
“A blueprint for success: What it takes to bring down a global ivory trafficking network,” Wildlife Justice Commission, February 2022