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Africa: Interpol cracks down on organised crime networks trafficking ivory and rhino horn
One man has been arrested and warrants issued for three more individuals in connection with ongoing investigations into two organised crime networks believed to have trafficked at least 8‚635 kg of ivory and 53 kg of rhino horn from East and Southern Africa to Asia‚ Interpol disclosed on Wednesday.
It said a 44-year-old Chinese national had been arrested in Tanzania on suspicion of trafficking in government trophies following the deployment of Interpol Investigative Support Teams (IST) to Malawi‚ Tanzania and Uganda.
“The IST followed a Regional Investigative and Analytical Case Meeting (RIACM) at the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi which brought together 16 officials from Kenya‚ Malawi‚ Tanzania‚ Uganda‚ Zambia and Zimbabwe to share investigative information relating to ivory trafficking cases.
“Comprised of national wildlife officers‚ investigators‚ prosecutors and experts from Interpol’s General Secretariat‚ the ISTs which were deployed from 25 to 29 April also gathered additional intelligence for analysis to identify other potential links to the organised crime networks‚” Interpol said.
In March‚ an investigation by the Tanzanian authorities supported by Interpol led to the conviction of two Chinese nationals for illegal ivory possession and attempting to bribe police and officials from the national wildlife department. Each was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Qin Huang and Fujie Xu were arrested in Dar Es Salam in possession of more than 700 elephant tusks worth approximately US$ 3 million‚ which were concealed in sacks of garlic. “Interpol provided assistance to the Tanzanian investigation through the analysis of travel records‚ financial transactions and other evidence‚ including seized mobile phones which were sent to the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore for digital forensic examination.”
Full story at www.timeslive.co.za/world/2016/05/04/Interpol-cracks-down-on-organised-crime-networks-trafficking...
#Africa #China #elephants #ivory #rhinos INTERPOL HQ
Image: Rhino horns confiscated by the authorities in South Africa (c) Anthony Bannister ... See MoreSee Less
46 minutes ago ·
In response to today's release of the independent evaluation report of Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT), EIA looks back to a blog by Forests Campaigner Louise Truslove focusing on the successes in forest governance derived from FLEGT in over a decade of work and how, as an innovative tool, the Action Plan has created political space for civil society to call for a transparent and accountable timber sector ...
'The hidden successes of EU’s legal timber action plan'
In 1999, deep in the frontier forests of Indonesia, EIA documented a war being waged. Precious ramin trees were being illegally felled and smuggled out of forests to be traded on lucrative foreign markets.
For too long, EIA documented the escalating plight of these forests as illegal timber all too frequently found its way into supply chains bound for the US and European Union (EU), saturating markets with products made with stolen timber. In the late ’90s, it was estimated that as much as 80 per cent of the timber coming out from Indonesia was illegal.
Fast-forward to 2003 and, after years of campaigning, the EU finally responded as a responsible consumer by taking the long-awaited step of acknowledging the serious issue of illegal logging and created the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Built on a series of measures to prohibit illegal timber from entering the EU market, FLEGT was much more than a piece of legislation Rather, it was designed to address the root causes at the heart of illegal logging – the rampant corruption, poor governance, lack of transparency and much-needed accountability from those trusted with managing forests.
... This is an ambitious plan that requires a complete overhaul of an entire market sector, and not just for trade to the EU. The legality system applies to both the domestic markets and for exports to non-EU markets.
Read Louise's blog in full at eia-international.org/the-hidden-successes-of-eus-legal-timber-action-plan
#forests #Indonesia #FLEGT Forest Governance Program- FLEGT Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade-FLEGT European Union
Image: Indonesia forest (c) EIA ... See MoreSee Less
20 hours ago ·
Latest from our colleagues at EIA US ... ... See MoreSee Less
We recently went with Maroon 5 and Guster to Guatemala on an artist expedition with the Environmental Investigation Agency US. On May 17th we'll be in Los Angeles premiering a short documentary of the trip in an effort to continue to raise awareness of sustainable timber harvesting. The trip was an inspiring example of how some communities are using sustainable forest management to create the instruments we love, as well as to combat illegal logging, which is causing devastation around the globe to people and the environment. Join us for a special live Facebook event to hear from members of Maroon 5 and Guster about their experience, including an acoustic performance. Viewers will be entered to win a sustainably harvested guitar from Bedell Guitars. Stay tuned for more details including the time of our live stream, and please share!
20 hours ago ·