Tue, Dec 13, 2016 Military Official, Three Others Charged Over Illegal Logging
A military official and three businessmen involved with a company in Preah Vihear province were charged on Thursday over their alleged involvement in logging illegally on the site of a world heritage-listed, 11th century temple, authorities said.
A raid on the premises of Hong Sopheap Development—carried out by hundreds of military police officials and local authorities on Sunday—found the firm had been in possession of illegally logged timber, officials said on Monday. More than 500 cubic meters of wood was seized.
Say Sopheap, 51, and Bun Hong, 52, co-presidents of the company; Say Sina, 45, a company foreman; and Khai Hoeu, 45, an officer in the military’s Division 3, were charged on Thursday by provincial court officials, said prosecutor Ly Lun, but he refused to name the specific offenses for which they were charged.
“The court sent them to provisional detention and charged them over their involvement with forestry crimes” under Article 98 of the Forestry Law, Mr. Lun said, declining to comment further.
Article 98 lists 15 offenses, including the use of machinery to harvest wood without a permit, all punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of 10 million to 100 million riel, or about $2,500 to $25,000.
Investigators concluded that 54 of the 186 logs seized had been felled within the boundaries of the firm’s land concession, which covers thousands of hectares granted to the military as a land concession, according to a statement posted to the military police’s Facebook page on Thursday.
Another 90 had been illegally logged from protected grounds surrounding Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border, while an additional 42 smaller-sized logs and tools had also been confiscated by authorities, the statement said.
Preah Vihear governor Un Chanda said he had reported the company’s illegal activities to the military police task force charged with cracking down on forestry crimes.
“They logged illegally because they went to log inside the protected area surrounding Preah Vihear Temple,” he said.
New-Ivory-3SEPANG: Ivory worth RM7.2 million smuggled from Democratic Republic of the Congo, was seized by Customs officers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sunday. The New Year’s Day seizure included 254 elephant tusks, weighing more than 840kg. Selangor Customs director Hamzah Sundang said the ivory was flown in via
Turkish Airlines from Kinshasa International Airport. “We received an anonymous tip that 17 crates containing illegal items were being flown into the country,” Hamzah told reporters at the KLIA Customs Complex here today. He said the crates had the words “wood samples” pasted on them and the address given was fake. The case is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967, which carries a minimum penalty of 10 times the cost of the items seized and a maximum of 20 times the cost, or no more than three years jail, or both. Hamzah said smuggling of elephant tusks was becoming more rampant. He said there were six such cases in 2015 where the department seized more than RM2.3 million worth of ivory weighing 259.9kg. Last year, there were nine cases. The seizure, valued at RM10.9 million, weighed 1,054kg. Hamzah, however, does not believe the cases are related as unlike the previous cases, there were no arrests in this latest seizure. Last year, Traffic — the wildlife trade monitoring network — labelled Malaysia the world’s “paramount ivory transit country”, with its ports a major gateway for the flow of tonnes of illicit ivory between Africa and
Asia. Traffic’s ivory seizure records from January 2003 to May 2014 linked Malaysia to 66 confiscations worldwide, totalling 63,419kg. Malaysia-linked seizures, it revealed, involved the import, export and re-export of ivory from at least 23 countries. The Customs Department had also last year promised to intensify measures to combat the illegal ivory trade at all entry and exit points nationwide, including enhancing enforcement efforts, setting up roadblocks and conducting joint operations with other agencies.
http://www.freemalaysiatoday. com/category/nation/2017/01/ 04/rm7-2-million-in-ivory- seized-at-klia/
Wed, Jan 4, 2017 109 pangolins rescued from cooking pot
BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Over 100 pangolins bound for the cooking pot in Thailand were rescued by the Border Security Agency (Aksem) from a village house near here.
Most of the 109 pangolins, comprising both adults and young ones, were alive when they were seized at noon yesterday from a house in Kampung Kubang Airang, Titi Kerbau in Changlun.
They were found in sacks which were covered in nets inside a shed beside the house.
Only a few small ones, weighing about 1kg each, were dead. The adults weigh about 6kg each.
Kedah Aksem Commander Abdul Latif Abd Rahman said the animals, worth a total of RM196,200, were to be served as an exotic dish after being smuggled out of the country.
He said the raiding party arrested the house owner in the vicinity of the building, adding that the 49-year-old suspect admitted to keeping the animals while they were on transit from Penang to Thailand.
He said the suspect told the raiding party that the pangolins will be picked up by Thai nationals to be smuggled into Thailand where they could fetch up to RM300 per kilo.
Abdul Latif said the pangolins would be handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action, adding that the offence came under Section 68 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 which carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 and five-year jail term.
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has announced that two Vietnamese who smuggled 12 Chinese Hwamei (Garrulax canorus) into Singapore were each sentenced to six months imprisonment today (29 December). AVA said that the two men were also sentenced to four months imprisonment for subjecting the birds to unnecessary pain or suffering. Both sentences have been backdated to 15 December 2016 and will run concurrently. On 9 December 2016, AVA said that it was notified by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on the detection of 12 live birds in passengers’ luggage bags, which arrived on a flight from Vietnam to Singapore. The birds were concealed in white plastic containers and covered with personal belongings in two luggage bags. The two Vietnamese men were detained, and the birds and luggage bags were seized for AVA’s investigation. AVA stated that its investigation identified the birds to be Chinese Hwamei, a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The investigation found that the birds had been confined for approximately twelve hours in the plastic containers without food and water. One of the birds did not survive. As part of the investigation, AVA said that the remaining 11 birds were tested for avian influenza. One of the birds was found positive for antibodies against Influenza A virus (H3N8). This means that the bird was exposed to the virus before its arrival in Singapore. As a precautionary measure, the bird was euthanized and the remaining 10 birds are being monitored in quarantine for signs of exotic or zoonotic diseases.
AVA noted that the Singapore Government has zero tolerance on the use of Singapore as a conduit to smuggle endangered species. Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, into the country. Singapore is one of the few countries in the region free from bird flu. AVA maintains its bird flu-free status through strict import regulations and enforcement. For example, ornamental birds can only be imported from countries that are free from bird flu, and must undergo a 21-day pre-export isolation in the country of export. The birds must be tested free from bird flu before import. Upon arrival in Singapore, the birds are checked again for clinical signs of diseases, and samples are taken for bird flu, amongst other diseases.
AVA also stressed that the importation of any animals or birds without an AVA permit is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. Importation of any CITES-protected species, including their parts and products, without a CITES permits is also an offence. Offenders can be fined up to $50,000 per scheduled species (not exceeding a maximum aggregate of $500,000) and/or up to two years imprisonment. In addition, if the animals or birds were subjected to
unnecessary suffering or pain, the offender may also be liable, on conviction, to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months.
Police in the central province of Ha Tinh said on Friday they found a tiger carcass in a house of a local man.
The 120kg dead tiger was stored in an ice box in the house belonging to Nguyen Van Thanh from the mountainous commune of Huong Son.
The police have seized the carcass for further investigations.
In October, police in another central province of Nghe An also seized a tiger carcass, a tiger skin and a tiger head, which were all frozen and weighed 64 kilograms in total.
The most common use of tigers in Vietnam is to make tiger bone medicine, a form of traditional medicine used for the treatment of bone or joint-related ailments.
The tiger bones are boiled down until they form a glue-like substance, which is then dried in cake-like blocks and sold at around VND20 million ($880) per 0.1 kilogram.
However, no scientific basis in this medicine has been found, according to experts.
Locally-based conservation group Education for Nature-Vietnam estimated that from 2006 to September this year, the organization has investigated 971 cases of trading, transporting, selling and advertising tigers or tiger products. They have helped rescue 14 live tigers and confiscated 69 dead tigers.
Source: http://e.vnexpress.net/news/ news/police-detect-frozen- tiger-in-central-vietnam- 3518482.html
Customs officers at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Thursday seized a 50 kilogram shipment of rhino horns en route from Kenya with dubious recipient.
The illicit shipment was being transported in a suitcase aboard a plane serial numbered KQ 870/28 DEC 16 from Nairobi, Kenya to Hanoi.
There was no receiver’s name on the suspicious package.
According to the Hanoi Customs Department, authorities became aware of the shipment after collecting information regarding the flight and doing a baggage scan.
Around 7:00 pm the same day, investigators opened the suitcase to reveal what appeared to be a large number of rhino horns, totaling 50 kilograms and carrying an estimated black market value of VND20 billion (US$879,097).
The horns have been sealed to support further investigation.
In accordance with Vietnamese law, the import of rhino horns, as with all animals protected by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in prohibited.