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Myanmar Strengthens Its Efforts Against Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Illegal Logging

< !-- Myanmar Strengthens Its Efforts Against Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Illegal Logging -->

Myanmar authorities have continued to step up its national efforts to strengthen its commitments in curbing illegal wildlife trafficking and illegal logging.

From August to September of 2013, Myanmar authorities have been able to enforce its relevant wildlife legislations as follows:

16th August, 2013 - In collaboration with Myanmar Police Force, Forest Department officials seized one (1) alive Tokay (Gekko gecko) of 15 inches in length from two suspects at the transboundary checkpoint between Myanmar and India. The defendants are being charged in accordance with section 35 (a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994), which can be punished with imprisonment of up to 3 years, or fine of Kyats 10,000, or both.

22th August, 2013 - Forest Department officials seized 14 tortoises and 3 turtles at Oattwin Township in Bago Region and arrested a suspect. The suspect is being charged in accordance with section 35 (a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994), which can be punished with imprisonment of up to 3 years, or fine of Kyats 10,000, or both.

24th August, 2013 - Myanmar Police Force seized 47 pangolins from a suspect in Thahton Township of Mon State. All confiscated pangolins were released into their natural habitats. The defendant is being charged in accordance with section 37 (a) of the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994), which can be punished with imprisonment of up to 7 years, or fine of up to Kyats 50,000, or both.

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Wildlife News Round-up, September 2013

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Malaysia


Man charged for illegal possession of Tiger and four leopards

Kuala Lumpur, 12 September 2013 - Wildlife and Customs officers in the town of Tumpat arrested a Malaysian man for illegal possession of one tiger and four leopards carcasses. He has been charged with five counts under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

source: traffic.org





Myanmar


Myanmar Authorities Recover Illegal Firearms and Timber in 2 Wildlife Sanctuaries

July 2013, a total of 3,279.51 cubic meters of illegal timber were seized from 1,070 cases. The suspects involved in this illegal trade were held accountable for violation of the law, particularly the Forest Law (1992).

It was also reported that on 3 July 2013, a patrol team from Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary recovered 10.91 cubic meters of illegally logged timber from the Sanctuary. No suspect was identified in said case.

From 28-29 July 2013, officers from the Chattin Wildlife Sanctuary and Myanmar National Police Force were able to confiscate 15 hand-made firearms at four different places inside the wildlife sanctuary.

source: asean-wen.org





Thailand


Smuggled turtles dumped at airport

22 September 2013, Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Customs officials have found 220 Spotted Pond Turtles in three luggage bags at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. All the turtles were reported to be still alive when the officials discovered them in abandoned bags.

The turtles were protected under CITES. Each turtle fetches between Bt1,000 and Bt10,000 on the black market. The species is native to Bangladesh.

source: nationmultimedia.com



Korat police seize ivory worth B20m

Nakhon Ratchasima province, 23 September 2013 – Local Police seized a large shipment of smuggled ivory worth an estimated 20 million baht and arrested two men who tried to bribe officers with one million baht in cash. The tusks were found hidden in a van parked at a hotel in Muang district. Fifty nine pieces of ivory were found in the vehicle.

source: bangkokpost.com



Rihanna's wildlife pics lead to arrests

23 September 2013 – Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture (of Rihanna), and police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists.

Police confiscated two lorises from the pair — a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy — who could face charges under Thailand Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2535 for possession of protected animals.

source: news.ninemsn.com.au




Vietnam


Over 600 wild animals seized in Dak Nong

11 September 2013 - police from the Ministry of Public Security raided three farms in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, detecting and seizing more than 600 wild animals, along with wild animal products.

source: tuoitrenews.vn





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Wildlife News Round-up, August 2013

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Cambodia


WRRT Makes Huge Reptile Bust

20 August 2013 - WRRT apprehended two suspected Vietnamese traders at a house in Spean Dek Village, in Kandal Province, only 6.2 miles from the Vietnamese border. At the time of the raid, one of the traders was preparing to transport 165 lbs of snakes. After the second trader was located inside the house, a search of the premises took place. The team uncovered a Snail-eating Turtle and 53 lbs of live snakes. Both offenders were taken to the local Forestry Administration office, where they were interviewed and charged with illegal wildlife trading.

In total, the team rescued 227 lbs of reptiles, which included 7 monocled cobras, 2 Burmese Pythons, 1 Snail-eating Turtle, checkered keelback snakes, white spotted slug snakes, common blind snakes, common blackheaded snakes and several water snakes.

source: wildlifealliance.org





Malaysia


Six smugglers sentenced to jail time over pangolin trafficking in Malaysia

Reported on 20 August 2013 - Six men have been sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of smuggling 150 pangolins. The men were also given fines totaling over $100,000.

These men were caught last year attempting to smuggle the pangolins inside the trunks of three different vehicles.

source: news.mongabay.com



Outlet in hot water over exotic menu

Reported on 22 August 2013 - Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) enforcement officers raided the restaurant and seized 2.95kg of bear flesh, 1.2kg of pangolin scales, three soft-shelled turtles, 20 bats, 7.4kg of wild boar parts and other types of exotic meat.

Two restaurant workers – a man and his sister, both in their 40s – were arrested to assist in investigations but were granted a RM15,000 bail each with two sureties.

The pair are expected to face court charges on Sept 19.

Among others, the case falls under Section 68(1)(b) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for taking or keeping any part of a totally protected wildlife without a special permit.

Those convicted can be fined up to RM100,000, jailed up to three years or both.

source: thestar.com.my





Philippines


Authorities intercepted 45 pieces of Philippine Sailfin Lizard

7 August 2013, CEBU CITY, Cebu – Authorities intercepted 45 pieces of Philippine Sailfin Lizard or Hydrosaurus pustulatus in this city’s Pier 1.

The said lizards were immediately turned over to the Protected Area and Wildlife Division (PAWD) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7.

The recovery came after a six-member team from the 701st Maritime Police Station conducted a police visibility patrol at Pier 1, Port Area, Cebu City.

source: tempo.com.ph




Thailand


Customs in Thailand seize over 100 kg of ivory from luggage

30 August 2013, Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Customs and DNP authorities announced that they had seized 105 kg (THB16M) of ivory hidden in four suitcases scheduled to be put on a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

A Vietnamese couple is being held in connection with the case and will be investigated for violating Customs and Wildlife laws.

The bags containing tusks, hundreds of ivory beads and necklaces, and a number of small pieces of raw ivory, had been checked into a flight from Angola and had passed through Ethiopia before being intercepted in transit in Bangkok.

source: traffic.org, pattayamail.com



Police seize 16 'illegal' elephants

21 August 2013 – Thai police seized 16 elephants from tourist destinations as part of a nationwide swoop on operators suspected of using smuggled wild pachyderms for entertainment.

The animals were removed on Tuesday and Wednesday from camps in the southern and eastern resort areas of Ko Chang, Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, which are popular with holidaymakers, said Police Colonel Watcharin Phoosit, from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division.

A further planned raid on Friday is expected to seize 10 more elephants from Kanchanaburi in the west, central Chonburi and the northeastern provinces of Surin and Chaiyaphum.

source: au.news.yahoo.com




Vietnam


Over 50kg of ivory seized

Reported on 6 August 2013 - Customs officers at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport have arrested two Vietnamese nationals illegally carrying 50.2kg of ivory and 126 boxes of Marlboro cigarette aboard SU290 from Russia to Vietnam.

source: english.vietnamnet.vn



Customs seizes 6 tons of pangolins smuggled from Indonesia

Reported on 8 August 2013 - Customs officers in northern Hai Phong City have detected and seized 6.2 tons of live pangolins hidden in a 40’’ container shipped from Indonesia.

source: tuoitrenews.vn



Local police make swift arrests as part of two big king cobra trafficking cases

10 August 2013 - Quang Ninh police intercepted a suspicious bus travelling along the highway towards Mong Cai, a city in Quang Ninh province. Over 106 kilograms of live king cobras were found. Police identified the wildlife as belonging to a passenger on the bus and none of the goods had certificates of origin.

Just a week earlier, Hanoi police also confiscated 65 kilograms of king cobra which were also discovered being trafficked by bus.

source: Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV)





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Strengthening Regional Cooperation to Combat Wildlife Crime in West Asia

< !-- Strengthening Regional Cooperation to Combat Wildlife Crime in West Asia -->

Countries of West Asia have agreed on a process aimed at strengthening regional cooperation to combat wildlife crime. The agreement was reached at a workshop hosted by Kuwait, from 29 to 31 October 2013, with the participation of officials from eight countries of West Asia: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The workshop was organized at the request of the CITES Member States (Parties) of West Asia, in order to consult with regional government officials involved in CITES implementation and law enforcement, including police and Customs, as well as the national CITES Management Authorities and relevant experts. The aim was to consider the need for, and feasibility of, establishing a regional network to coordinate the enforcement of laws that regulate trade in wildlife and to share intelligence. It was organized jointly by the Environment Public Authority of Kuwait, the CITES Secretariat and the West Asia Regional Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-ROWA), with the financial support of the European Commission.

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