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Thailand: Kenya tusks were court evidence, say Thai officials
Part of the massive ivory haul seized in Thailand was prosecution evidence stolen from Kenyan courts and reshipped to Bangkok.
Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dapong Rattanasuwan and Director-General of Customs Somchai Sujjapongse told the media that they had reshipped seized ivory to Kenya to be used as evidence against ivory traffickers, only for the same consignment to find its way back to the Asian country last week.
The revelations have raised questions about the role of the Judiciary, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Ports Authority officials and police officers in the international criminal enterprise that fans poaching.
“Most of them were the tusks earlier seized and sent back to their origins in Africa whereas some were those having been kept as evidence in some countries,” said Gen Dapong.
On April 25, Thailand’s Customs Department seized 511 elephant tusks that had been declared at the customs office as 11 tonnes of tea leaves from Kenya destined for Laos.
Environment Secretary Judi Wakhungu promised to investigate how the ivory left Mombasa without detection.
The Sunday Nation has established that a criminal enterprise involving Kenyans and foreigners is involved in stealing and reselling ivory used as evidence against poachers in court cases. The syndicate is run from Asia and has major operations in Kenya.
Full story at www.nation.co.ke/news/Tusks-were-court-evidence-say-Thai-officials/-/1056/2704592/-/qdsc01/-/inde...
#Thailand #Kenya #elephants #ivory #corruption
Image: Thai customs official inspects some of the seized ivory from Kenya (c) Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP ... See MoreSee Less
10 hours ago ·
With EIA forest campaigners in Brunei this week to push for better protection for threatened Siamese rosewood from illegal logging, learn more about what’s at stake – and why – in this short documentary produced by EIA’s in-house film unit.
* Read and download the report 'Routes of Extinction: The corruption and violence destroying Siamese rosewood in the Mekong' at eia-international.org/reports/routes-of-extinction-the-corruption-and-violence-destroying-siamese...
#Mekong #China #rosewood ... See MoreSee Less
13 hours ago ·
Time for ASEAN to act to end illegal, violent rosewood trade
EIA forest campaigners are in Brunei this week (May 5-8) to seek better protection for endangered Siamese rosewood at the 11th ASEAN Experts Group on CITES (CITES AEG) and 10th meeting of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN).
A new EIA briefing outlining the key issues, 'Addressing ASEAN’s Regional Rosewood Crisis: An Urgent Call to Action', has been produced in English, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese for the meetings.
* Read & download the briefings at eia-international.org/reports/addressing-aseans-regional-rosewood-crisis-an-urgent-call-to-action
The briefing makes policy recommendations on how Association of South-East Asean Nations (ASEAN) member states can maximise the protection afforded to Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) from illegal logging and international trade by removing a loophole in the CITES Appendix II listing – Annotation 5 – which exempts semi–finished and finished products from CITES protection.
The briefing also urges ASEAN member states to propose CITES Appendix II listing for two further species of rosewoods – currently under extreme and growing pressure from Chinese demand for Hongmu furniture – as replacements for Siamese rosewood, namely Burmese rosewood (Dalbergia oliveri/bariensis) and Burmese padauk (Pterocarpus macrocarpus).
As a recognised global authority on illegal timber trade, EIA has been invited to present the briefing to ASEAN member states at the CITES AEG and ASEAN-WEN meetings in Brunei, where it is expected regional consensus will be reached to put an end to the illegal, unsustainable and violent trade in these high-value species and formal proposals to CITES can be progressed prior to the CITES CoP17 in 2016 and the CITES Plants Committee in September 2015.
With no laws prohibiting illegal timber imports in China – the world’s biggest consumer of illegal wood – CITES presents the only way to engender respect for sovereign forestry and trade laws of ASEAN member states. The time to act is now.
#ASEAN #rosewood #China #Myanmar #Thailand #Vietnam #forests
Image: Rosewood logs stored in a warehouse, Dong Ha, Vietnam (c) EIA ... See MoreSee Less
14 hours ago ·