Archive for Thailand

1.4 tonnes of ivory seized in Thailand= 120 Massacred Elephants

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2010 by kendickjerkins

It has just been released by Thai authorities that customs officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport seized almost 1.4 tonnes of elephant ivory tusks, officials in Thailand announced yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, Customs officers discovered 296 African Elephant tusks weighing a combined total of 1,390 kg inside three crates on board flight from Qatar. The cargo was labeled as “printing metal” and addressed to a Thai company based in Bangkok.

This is the latest in a series of large scale ivory seizures involving Thailand and ivory illegally transported from Africa via the Middle East: in February, Customs officials at Suvarnabhumi seized 239 African Elephant tusks weighing an estimated two tonnes, reported to be the country’s biggest ever ivory seizure. The ivory was said to have arrived on an Emirates flight from Dubai where it arrived from Nairobi, and was apparently destined for Lao PDR. Earlier, in August 2009, officials at the airport were reported to have seized 316 pieces of ivory weighing 2 tonnes in a shipment from Uganda and Kenya.

To read the full article, click here

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Prestigious International Conservation Award Given to Thailand’s Environment Minister

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Suwit Khunkitti, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, has been named the winner of the 2009 J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. He is being honored for his efforts to eliminate illegal wildlife trade, save tigers, elephants and sea turtles, and create wildlife corridors and sanctuaries in Thailand. The annual J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership is one of the world’s most prestigious international conservation awards and includes a $200,000 prize.

Khunkitti’s work also includes a completed national action plan for tiger conservation in Thailand, critical to stopping the decline of tigers – a major conservation focus in 2010, the Year of the Tiger.  Khunkitti also revised Thailand’s elephant law and pushed reforms to require sea turtle excluders on fishing trawlers. Additionally his work has resulted in the creation of habitat corridors by linking national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand.  His enforcement team was also responsible for the biggest ivory bust in Thailands history. Throughout his career, Khunkitti has both actively engaged civil society and nongovernmental organizations in policy initiatives and supported constitutional reforms.

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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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California Businessman Indicted on Ivory Smuggling Charges

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The owner of a Claremont doughnut shop was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he bought endangered-elephant ivory on EBay and smuggled it into the United States from Thailand three years ago. Moun Chau, 50, of Montclair was charged with conspiracy and the illegal importation of wildlife, according to the indictment, which cited violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The alleged smuggling was discovered in November 2006 when authorities found four African elephant tusks in a shipment purported to be toys. With rare exception, the U.S. prohibits the importation of any ivory, federal officials said, because endangered elephants often are killed for their tusks to make jewelry, statues and other items.

“Buyers in the United States and elsewhere in the world are creating this market for ivory and feeding the poachers in Africa who are killing these animals,” said Erin L. Dean, who heads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s law enforcement office in Torrance.

To read the full article…Click Here