Tag Archives: Malaysia

Huge Haul of Smuggled Ivory Came From Kenya (Cambodia)

By Khy Sovuthy and Simon Henderson, The Cambodia Daily

May 23, 2014
The three-ton haul of illegal elephant ivory seized by port officials on May 9 originated in Kenya and was then shipped through Malaysia to Cambodia in two freight containers, the chief of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s customs and excise department said Thursday.

The General Department of Customs held a press conference Thursday to provide the first update since May 12 on the investigation into Cambodia’s biggest ever seizure of illegal ivory. But customs officials did not mention whether the investigation had identified any person or persons responsible for the smuggled ivory, and declined to respond to questions on the identity of the smugglers.

“After investigating this case we have discovered that the 3,008 kg of ivory was transported from Kenya in Africa,” Kin Ly, the head of the Sihanoukville port’s customs and excise department, told reporters.

He explained that port authorities were alerted about the containers by the regional intelligence liaison office of the Customs Enforcement Network, a global intelligence service monitoring shipping cargo.

The containers were supposed to be carrying beans from Malaysia, but a scan after their arrival at Sihanoukville revealed a cargo of more than 500 elephant tusks.

Most of the elephant tusks smuggled through Southeast Asia are bound for Vietnam and China, which have lucrative black markets for ivory, and Bun Chiv, deputy chief of the port’s customs office, said Thursday that the final destination of the Kenyan ivory was almost certainly not Cambodia.

“Cambodia was not the destination country for this ivory,” he said.

Neither he nor Mr. Ly would answer questions regarding the shipping company that consigned the containers, Olair Worldwide Logistics, which has two office listings in Phnom Penh and one in Sihanoukville.

The company is registered with the Ministry of Commerce as having three shareholders: Seang Sokhorn, Eang Chantha and Huy Soly.

Neither the company nor the shareholders could be reached Thursday.

The elephant emergency: Summit to be held in Botswana

Katie de Klee, Daily Maverick

18 Nov 2013

The African elephant is the world’s biggest land mammal; walking the earth at a dignified pace, the elephant has earned its place in the folklore and legend of many cultures. But this impressive creature is being slaughtered at alarming rate for its ivory: it is estimated one elephant is killed every 15 minutes. Check the time now; mark the moment the next grey giant falls. An emergency summit addressing the problems of the illegal ivory is to be held in Gaborone, Botswana at the beginning of December.

———-

President Ian Khama of Botswana will open the summit, and Heads of State and representatives of African elephant range countries will be in attendance, along with high-level representatives from transit and destination countries.

The summit will aim to address the following topics: penalties for ivory trading, law enforcement, population monitoring and public awareness.

A study conducted by the Conservation Action Trust (CAT) found that there were radical differences in the legislation and penalties surrounding poaching in African countries. Punishment must be seen to outweigh the potential financial rewards of the illegal ivory trade, acknowledging the severity of the crime and acting as a real deterrent. Maximum and equivalent penalties should apply in all countries.

National task forces should be formed and an increase in law enforcement and wildlife rangers should be facilitated. Ivory poachers are now often part of organised, armed networks, better equipped and connected than the rangers trying to stop them. More worryingly, the money from the poaching is increasingly often going towards armed rebellions and terrorism. The recent attack on the Nairobi mall by terrorist group al-Shabaab was partly funded by the illegal ivory trade.

The threat to national and international security would also be addressed by better intelligence sharing amongst States, another issue that will be given some time for discussion in Gaborone.

The IUCN will also propose that there needs to be better elephant population monitoring at national levels, and more effort should be put into raising public awareness.

Although the summit calls for global action, eight countries have been identified as being central to recent surges in elephant poaching. These countries are source countries Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, transit countries Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, and destination countries Thailand and China. These countries are known as the ‘gang of eight’.

If satisfactory action is not taken by these eight countries to halt the trade of illegal ivory, the IUCN is suggesting heavy trade sanctions on all wildlife products – including the lucrative orchid and crocodile skin industries. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in many African nations, and the heads of these states must be shown that the greatest economic value comes from the living beast, and not from its by-products.

At the beginning of the last century there were 10 million African elephants on earth. Now there may be as few as 400,000. According to IUCN, the number of elephants killed has doubled in the last decade. Southern Africa is their stronghold, but at the rate they’re being killed, in 50 years’ time there won’t be one wild elephant left. That would be an unforgivable indictment on our species.

Malaysia’s ‘blood ivory’ trade continues

Sean Whyte, Free Malaysia Today
October 23, 2013

This week Vietnamese customs officials discovered and confiscated 2.4 tons of elephant ivory. The ivory had been shipped from Malaysia, again. Earlier this month the same Vietnamese officials confiscated a shipment of 2.1 tons of elephants ivory, once again shipped from Malaysia enroute to China.

As anyone can see, Malaysia remains a very important link in the illegal ivory trade, resulting in about 100 elephants a day being slaughtered just to provide ivory trinkets and ornaments. Does it cross your mind why the Vietnamese customs officials can detect ivory, but not their Malaysian counterparts? I mean. Both have human beings as customs agents.

Both have laws to uphold. However, when it comes to spotting ivory shipments, Malaysian government officials appear struck by something akin to selective blindness.

On Aug 12, this year Minister of Natural Resources & Environment (NRE) G Palanivel declared publicly an independent audit of ivory stocks held in Malaysia was unnecessary and his staff were “ ……. in the midst of doing an inventory of the ivory seized,” .

Two months later we are still waiting for the outcome. Against a backdrop of suspicion some ivory may have been misappropriated, do you think Perhilitan is struggling to make its sums add up?

An independent audit is the only acceptable answer. Preventing such an audit implies officials have something to hide, and here again their lack of transparency brings this suspicion and public exposure upon themselves. The minister also declines to have the ivory destroyed – after an independent audit.

If you were of a suspicious mind, you could be forgiven for wondering if there is any ivory left to destroy and might this be why the minister and his Perhilitan department don’t want the ivory put on public display prior to its destruction? What’s the point in keeping the ivory?

I don’t suppose anyone has been arrested yet, much less prosecuted for trading in ivory. Why might that be you may well wonder?

One way or another the minister and his staff are making a real mess of this ivory scandal. In doing so they are bringing shame on Malaysia almost on a weekly basis. It seems highly likely Malaysia will be sanctioned by CITES – the ultimate embarrassment and shame for his ministry and Malaysia. All self inflicted.

I just hope the ministry and his staff do not attempt to blame me or others. Stopping the ivory trade flowing through Malaysia is their responsibility. The only reason why I write on this subject is because, as you can see, the ivory trade appears to be going from bad to worse – and via Malaysia.

Being sanctioned means a country has repeatedly failed to uphold its international commitments to CITES, ignored warnings, resulting in a country being banned from all international trade in wildlife. When this happens Malaysia will be abandoned to a group with the worst track record in the world for complicity in the illegal wildlife trade: Could this final indignity happen on Palanivel’s watch?

Poachers risk Sh5m fine, 15 years jail in plans to protect elephants

POLITICS AND POLICY

Poachers risk Sh5m fine, 15 years jail in plans to protect elephants

Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni (left) with Wildlife Direct chairman John Hemingway at the Press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo/Phoebe Okall

Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni (left) with Wildlife Direct chairman John Hemingway at the Press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo/Phoebe Okall

By WANGUI MAINAPosted  Wednesday, July 24  2013 at  20:42

IN SUMMARY

  • Environment, Water and Natural Resources secretary Judi Wakhungu said poachers would be sent to jail for 15 years and fined Sh5 million.
  • Killing of animals for their trophies has in the past three years seen Kenya lose about 1000 elephants.
  • Currently, poachers incur a fine not exceeding Sh40,000 or a prison term not exceeding ten years, or both.
 Poachers have been put on notice by stiffer penalties proposed in the Wildlife Bill, which is set for introduction in the National Assembly.

Environment, Water and Natural Resources secretary Judi Wakhungu said poachers would be sent to jail for 15 years and fined Sh5 million for illegal killing of wildlife, which will be an economic crime once the Bill is enacted.

“The government has directed that all poaching cases be prosecuted as economic crimes. Once the new Wildlife Bill is enacted, the penalties and sentences will be punitive in order to discourage poaching and ivory traffickers,” she said.

Killing of animals for their trophies has in the past three years seen Kenya lose about 1000 elephants.

Currently, poachers incur a fine not exceeding Sh40,000 or a prison term not exceeding ten years, or both.

Ms Wakhungu was speaking on Wednesday during the launch of a new anti-poaching campaign dubbed “Hands off our Elephants”, which is fronted by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

It has been put together by conservation group Wildlife Direct in partnership with companies such as Kenya Airways and advertising company TBWA.

The launch of the campaign coincided with former US defence attaché in Nairobi David McNevin being convicted of being in possession of ivory products worth thousands of shillings.

Mr McNevin was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) early this month as he boarded a flight to the Netherlands.

He was in possession of five ivory bangles, seven ivory finger rings, seven ivory pendants and two pieces of worked ivory weighing a total 800 grammes. He was arraigned in court on July 2 where he pleaded guilty and paid a fine of Sh40,000.

During President Barack Obama’s visit to Africa this month, the US pledged $10 million (Sh870 million) to combat ivory trade in Tanzania.

Last year, Kenya lost 384 elephants to poachers compared to 278 in 2011 and 177 in 2010. This year, Kenya has lost 172 elephants and 32 rhinos as increased demand for ivory driven by China prompts criminals.

Kenya has the fourth largest elephant population at about 38,000 and is one of the ‘gang of eight’ countries identified by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) where poaching is rampant.

In March, Cites ordered Kenya to set clear targets for reducing the poaching and the trade in ivory.

The other countries listed for poaching are Tanzania and Uganda while China and Thailand are listed as major consumers. Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, are listed as major transit countries for ivory.

The recent seizure of ivory in different exit points of the country is a sign of efficiency by the country’s law enforcement team, according to KWS. Kenya has been identified as a major transit point of ivory to Asia, where there is high demand.

To curb the movement of ivory the government is looking to deploy modern technology and sniffer dogs from the KWS canine unit, in all major entry and exit points including Eldoret airport.

This article comes from the following link: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Poachers-risk-Sh5m-fine-and-15-years-jail/-/539546/1925696/-/ho970k/-/index.html