Thai authorities at the Suvarnabhumi airport seized 69 elephant tusks and 4 smaller pieces of ivory, weighing 337.08 kgs. (as verified with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation) and worth 10 million THB (330,000USD), smuggled from Mozambique, and suspected to be re-imported to Thailand through Laos. Customs authorities have turned over custody of the seizures to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of Thailand.
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(Vientiane, December 10, 2010) – In view of the growing illegal wildlife trade that is increasingly seen as a serious transnational crime, and the need to increase awareness on this problem among relevant government agencies, especially among judges and prosecutors, Lao PDR’s Department of Forest Inspection, with the technical and financial support of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and its Support Program, FREELAND Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has made it a priority to bring in officers from the Department of Forest Inspection (DoFI), and the Public Prosecutor Offices, and members of the Judiciary together in a workshop on Legal Process for Wildlife Crime Prosecution. Panel discussions in said workshop included highlighting the role and responsibilities of DoFI in relation to the prosecution of wildlife crime, the establishment of the CITES Office in Lao PDR, and prosecution and judiciary processes that can be relevant in effectively prosecuting wildlife crimes in the country.