SE Asia

Naming the gangsters at the heart of global wildlife traffic

The Guardian, September 26 2016
with Oliver Holmes

A major investigation into global wildlife crime today names for the first time key traffickers and links their illegal trade to corrupt officials at the highest levels of one Asian country.

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The Asian Connection in global trafficking of rare animals

The Guardian, September 26 2016
with Oliver Holmes

There is a simple reason why there is always trouble in Nakhon Phanom. It is the reason why the US air force came here during the Vietnam war, and the reason why this dull and dusty town in north-east Thailand now serves as a primary gateway on the global highway for the trafficking of animals. It is all to do with geography.

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Wildlife trafficking - destructive, cruel and a most attractive crime

The Guardian, September 26 2016
with Oliver Holmes

The illegal trade in wildlife is a most attractive crime. It is highly destructive: the scale of the business is now threatening to exterminate the entire global population of some of the world's iconic species. It is also grotesquely cruel: poachers slice the face off living rhinos to steal their horns; militia groups use helicopters to shoot down elephants for their tusks; factory farmers breed...

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The Prime Minister's office which cuts deals with wildlife criminals

The Guardian, September 27 2016

Officials at the highest level of an Asian government have been helping wildlife criminals smuggle millions of dollars worth of endangered species through their territory, the Guardian can reveal.

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The official corruption which aids wildlife crime

The Guardian, September 27 2016

One dark night a few years ago, a professional gangster in Hanoi approached a senior government official as he was making his way home. The gangster was in the wildlife business. The official was one of those responsible for policing the safety of wildlife. That night, the gangster made him an offer he could hardly refuse.

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Key UK officials regret allowing sale of ivory to China and Japan

Previously unpublished addition to story on China's tiger farms, September 27 2016

Senior British officials say it was a mistake to allow four African nations to sell 102 tons of stockpiled ivory to China and Japan. The sale, starting in January 2009, was intended to reduce the poaching of elephants by satisfying demand with ivory gathered from animals who had died of natural causes.

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