Archive for Crime Syndicate

International Crime Syndicates Involved in Murder and Mutilation of Wildlife in East and Central Africa

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Africa’s largest-ever investigation of wildlife crime has unearthed a ton of illegal African elephant ivory, several animal pelts, and hippopotamus teeth, the Kenya Wildlife Service and INTERPOL announced this week. The undercover operation, coordinated by INTERPOL—the world’s largest international police organization—booked more than 60 alleged criminals in five African countries.

A victim of poaching

Among those caught were four Chinese nationals attempting to smuggle ivory curios out of Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The rapidly growing presence of China in Africa is seen as a major driver of the ivory trade, experts say. Between 1998 and 2006, Chinese authorities seized an average of 39 tons of ivory each year, according to the United Nations Elephant Trade Information System.

Hippo’s have not only been a target of Bushmeat but their teeth and bones are used for carvings and jewelry

But wildlife authorities who participated in the sting—code-named Project Baba for Gilbert Baba, a Ghanaian ranger killed in the line of duty—say small-time traffickers arrested in recent weeks will lead them to bigger players.

Pendants from Congo made out of Hippo Teeth

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Rhino Murdered During World Cup: Poachers Disguised As Rangers Caught Red Handed

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Rangers in Kruger National Park managed to shoot and wound one rhino poacher in an exchange of gunfire that occurred after a dead rhino was found early Monday morning. The rhino had been shot and its horns were still intact.

Although two poachers managed to escape, the other is hospitalized and will appear in the Saselamani Periodical Court following recovery. Park spokesperson William Mambasa said via The Independent that the group of three poachers were wearing ranger uniforms as a disguise. The shooting occurred between Punda Maria and Shingwedzi Camp.

Photos of poached Rhino found in Kruger (Separate Incident)

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SA: Elite teams unite to fight Rhino atrocities

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by kendickjerkins

An elite group of government and private environmental professionals have formed a task team to combat further rhino poaching amid fears that syndicates operating nationally are based in Port Elizabeth. The Green Scorpions, the National Wildlife Reaction Unit, the Port Elizabeth organized crime unit, SA National Parks and 12 private game reserves forming part of the Indalo Group are working together in an attempt to curb rhino poaching on reserves across the Eastern Cape. For the past three months game reserves in the province have been put on high alert in fear that rhino poaching syndicates will strike again.

The task team is investigating the recent slaughter of a 14-year-old rhino cow on Kwantu Game Reserve, 80 km from Port Elizabeth, over the Easter weekend. The cow’s death led to its year-old calf being killed by a pride of lions less than two days after its mother was slaughtered for her horns. Green Scorpions deputy director Jaap Pienaar said the recent poaching attack had been expected, as the Eastern Cape was the only province not targeted by the syndicates since the beginning of the year. The Green Scorpions, who are now working with the new crack squad known as the National Wildlife Reaction Unit, will specifically tackle ongoing rhino poaching, and other matters relating to care of the environment.

It is estimated that one rhino is killed every 41 hours somewhere in South Africa

Rhino pair in Port Elizabeth, SA (Credit: Matthias Maddux)

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Pangolins….The Other Bushmeat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Throughout much of Southeast Asia and countries like Vietnam there is still a thriving market for bushmeat and animal parts. The fact of the matter is that it’s still culturally acceptable in some of these countries to eat these animals and use their parts for medicinal purposes. Saturday, security staff at southern Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport on Saturday confiscated 33 live Pangolins, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. The pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, had been sold to customers in the country’s north at a price of one million dong (53 dollars) per kilogram, Tuoi Tre reported.

Demand for pangolin meat, with its supposedly medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities, is widespread in China and Vietnam. There is a high demand for pangolin scales for traditional medicines in many parts of the world. Meat is eaten by indigenous peoples and hides are also used to make shoes. One of the main importers of pangolin skins from 1980-1985 was the United States of America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list pangolins as endangered.

Separately, Vietnamese police have seized about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of ivory near the border with China, a newspaper reported on Sunday. Traffic police made the discovery after stopping a car early Friday morning, said Tuoi Tre, which did not say if any arrests were made.

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Poaching War Escalates As Suspected Tanzanian Nationals Shot Dead In Kenya’s Tsavo National Park

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The district police boss Herbert Khaemba, confirmed the Saturday night incident and said the poachers, suspected to be Tanzanian nationals, were shot dead at Kuranze area, Kasigahu location in Tsavo West National Park. The killings comes barely a week after KWS personnel arrested another poacher and recovered two rifles and three rounds of ammunition at Galana Ranch in the Southern part of Tsavo East National Park in the on-going onslaught on poaching activities in the area.

Khaemba said the rangers on patrol challenged the poachers to surrender but they started shooting at them (rangers) who, in turn, shot back killing three of the poachers.  The warden said by the time the poachers were killed, they had already felled three jumbos. “We had earlier discovered three elephant carcasses without ivory and we highly suspect the gang was behind the killing,” he added.

KWS Director Mr. Julius Kipngetich holding seized Ivory

Skin and Bones remain from poached Elephant in Tsavo

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Update on Thailand’s Largest Ivory Bust….I was not Shocked… but I Grieved….Interview with Thailand’s Director of Clearance Customs Bureau

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by kendickjerkins

“Was I shocked? No. But I grieved for the grisly fate of those elephants,” says Tanat Suvattanametakul.

Last week we made a posting about the largest Ivory seizure in Thailand to date. This is an update to that article interviewing Tanat Suvattanametakul, director of the Clearance Customs Bureau at Suvarnabhumi airport where the Ivory was found. Tanat, during the interview expresses his feelings about the seizure and first discovering it.  He goes in to depth explaining how poachers and crime syndicates are going to great lengths to get perfectly matched tusks, so that they are worth more on the market. The article also explains the value of the ivory that was seized and even how many elephants were killed for that particular shipment.  Furthermore, the interview explains how smugglers are beginning to take more complicated shipping routes in hopes of fooling authorities.

To Read the Full Article and Interview…Click Here

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The Lusaka Task Force: Fighting Poaching & Wildlife Crimes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora was the brain-child of Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers from eight Eastern and Southern African countries meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in December 1992, under the auspices of Zambia’s Ministry of Tourism. This was followed up with working group meetings involving CITES, Interpol and US Fish & Wildlife Service special agents, as well as London University lawyers of the Foundation for International Environment Law Development (FIELD). The development of this African initiative a year later led to formal inter-governmental negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This led to the adoption of the Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora on 8th September 1994, with UN Secretary General, New York  the Depositary.
The Agreement came into force on 10th December 1996 with the ratification, or formal acceptance, by four signatories. Currently, there are six Parties to the Agreement: The Republics of Congo (Brazzaville), Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Republics of South Africa, Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Swaziland are signatories.
The Agreement provides for setting up of a permanent Task Force that would implement its objectives. Consequently, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (Task Force) was launched on 1st  June 1999, with its headquarters located in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) working jointly with the Tanzania Wildlife Division (TWD) and Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) Dar es Salaam on 17th December, 2009 managed to arrest the main suspect in connection with illegal export of 769 pieces of elephant tusks, weighing 2005.6 Kg seized at the port of Hai Phong, Vietnam in August 2009. The contraband was disguised as sea shells and believed to have originated from Zanzibar. This arrest followed intensive investigation coordinated by LATF that started in September 2009. The arrested suspect Ramadhani Pandu Makame (alias Babu Rama) was indicated the exporter on the contraband’s accompanying documents. The investigation (ongoing) has also enabled collection of intelligence on the modus operandi, trade routes and possible destinations of elephant tusks in the Far East from the Region.

To learn more about the Lusaka Task Force you can visit their page on Wildlifedirect or their homepage.