Two Taiwanese rhino poachers get 29 years in Swazi jail

If they fail to pay additional damages, they will serve an additional sentence of four years each

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two Taiwanese nationals have been convicted of poaching and killing four rhinos and are in a Swazi jail. The two Taiwanese were arrested at the King Mswati III International Airport and have been sentenced to 29 years in prison for the offenses.

According to the Agence de Presse Africaine, Judge John Magagula of the High Court of Swaziland requested the duo to pay damages of US$ 133,000 for the four rhinos they dehorned.

The duo were sentenced to nine years for unlawful possession, 11 years for trading or trafficking rhino horns, and nine years for exporting the trophies of rhino horns. The prosecution aimed for each to be sentenced to 29 years combined in prison, but the judge ruled a concurrent sentence of 11 years in prison instead. If they fail to compensate the owners of the rhinos, they will serve an additional sentence of four years each, bringing the total to 15 years.

They were found in possession of 24 pieces of rhino horns valuing US$ 24 million at the King Mswati III International Airport on February 25 and were arrested before flying back to Taiwan.