Notorious Rhino Poacher & Gang Member, Admiro Chauque, Sentenced To A Record 30 Years In Prison In Mozambique

Photo of convicted rhino poacher Admiro Chauque from The National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), Facebook

Admiro Chauque, a noted rhino poacher and gang member from Mozambique, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay 28 years’ worth of fines at the rate of 1% of the minimum wage.

The National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) announced the news in a post on its Facebook page, further explaining that Chauque was sentenced by Judge Dr. Jafete Sigoto Fremo in the 6th Section of the Judicial Court of Maputo Province.

Chauque, who operated with a gang of poachers in Magude and Massingir districts, as well as in Kruger National Park in South Africa, was accused of prohibited hunting crimes, association to offend, and carrying illegal weapons.

A resident of Mapulanguene, Magude district, Chauque was arrested on May 3, 2021, marking his latest attempt at illegal rhino poaching. Chauque was reportedly also interrogated by authorities on January 18, 2020, after he and other poachers were apprehended on another case of “illegal activity hunting for a forbidden species.”

As per ANAC, Chauque was “an executor of poaching and organizer of criminals” who would “kill rhinos for illicit enrichment by feeding rhino horn trafficking to Asian countries especially Vietnam and China.”

Saving The Wild also shared the news on its Facebook page, explaining that rhino horn, ivory, and pangolin poachers in Mozambique have consistently received sentences of a minimum of 16 years in prison. Mozambique implemented the minimum sentence in 2017 for poachers of “all protected species.”

“We have just been notified of A RECORD 30 YEAR SENTENCE for a monster of a man,” said Jamie Joseph of Saving The Wild in the post. “He was arrested on May 3, 2021, meaning from arrest to conviction it was less than nine months. Amazing. Now, may Chauque spend the rest of his life rotting in jail.”

As per the organization, there is currently a nine-year minimum for poachers in Zimbabwe. Unfathomably, there is no minimum sentence for poachers in South Africa, despite the government claiming that ‘rhino poaching is a national priority crime.’

“I have lost track of how many times a poacher is given a petty fine and no jail time in South Africa, only to go out and kill more rhinos,” concluded Joseph. “Or, they get slapped with a double digit sentence, only to be out the next year poaching again. In South Africa, it’s nothing but a court circus.”

This landmark conviction is the result of institutional work integrated between the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), Lubombo Conservation Areas, the Police of the Republic of Mozambique, and the Attorney General’s Office.

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