Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Penalties for profiting off endangered species will become tougher, authorities vow

"Criminals see the wildlife trade as low risk, high profit," Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Edward Grace says. "Get caught smuggling a kilo of heroin, you will probably go to jail for the rest of your life if; smuggle a kilo of rhino horn, which nowadays is worth more than heroin or gold, in several countries worldwide you may only go to jail for a couple of years." To this end, the U.S. is pledging a stricter crackdown on poachers and smugglers of endangered animal species.

The value of wildlife crime is estimated at up to $8 billion a year, making it the most lucrative illegal activity after arms and drugs trafficking.

The value of wildlife crime is estimated at up to $8 billion a year, making it the most lucrative illegal activity after arms and drugs trafficking.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Rhon horns, poaching, smuggling, fedral agents, U.S.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States is signaling its ongoing commitment to the eradication of wildlife-related crime through tougher prison sentences. Officials will also use such tactics as the seizure of financial assets, in order to protect the world's endangered rhinoceros species.

Grace says the value of wildlife crime is estimated at up to $8 billion a year, making it the most lucrative illegal activity after arms and drugs trafficking.

Africa's Black and White rhinos are on the cusp of extinction. In Asia, Vietnam lost its last Javan rhino in 2010. It's now believed that fewer than 200 of the Sumatran subspecies have survived.
 
In response, the U.S. recently launched Operation Crash - "crash" is the collective noun for rhinos - in which more than 200 federal agents are targeting illegal commerce of the animal's horn.

"When organized crime gets involved in any wildlife trade, they have the resources and the networks," Grace says. "So we make it a priority to go after these networks because they have the ability to do a lot of damage in a very short period of time."

Criminals who truck in rhino horn have been served notice that soft-sentencing is a thing of the past. In the last few weeks alone, two men with links to Vietnam were successfully convicted after an Operation Crash sting.
 
The two suspects, Jimmy and Felix Kha were found guilty of procuring horn, tax evasion and other offenses under the Lacey Act, one of the world's oldest wildlife protection laws. Both now face 20 years in prison.
 
"We will continue this effort for as long as it takes to identify, apprehend and jail every bad guy engaged in this illicit trade in rhino horn," Joseph Johns, chief of the environmental crimes section in the U.S. Attorney's Office, California says. "And we do expect more very significant arrests and sweeps to take place with regard to Operation Crash in the next year."
 
Operation Crash doesn't just go after low-paid middlemen and couriers. John says that federal agents are pursuing the bosses behind the trade, seizing their cars, homes and gold deposits and draining their bank accounts of millions of dollars in cash.
 
"The goal is not just to punish the crime, but take the profit out of it," he says. "We want to eliminate this [crime] in this generation. We call them endangered species for a reason. We cannot just wait and sit on our hands."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Green

Spring comes early to California, but drought is likely to continue and will impact food prices where you live Watch

Image of Unseasonably warm and powerful weather at the end of February brought a tornado to Central California. Tornadoes occasionally occur in California. They are sometimes responsible for minor property damage but are rare, weak and short lived.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

If you live in California, you may have noticed a bit more rain has fallen versus last year. While the state remains mired in drought, and that drought is expected to persist, a weak El Nino has developed and may be contributing to some of the added rainfall. It's ... continue reading


Global warming right before their eyes, Antarctic scientists share their shock at dramatic changes on icy continent Watch

Image of Moss now grows where glaciers once stood.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Scientists are reporting dramatic changes in Antarctica which they now say they are witnessing firsthand. Entire valleys have lost their ice and vegetation continues to expand. The continent continues to warm and while ice is gaining in East Antarctica, it is not ... continue reading


Climate scientist faces witch hunt after revealing money come from fossil fuel industry Watch

Image of It is important we get the facts of climate change right so we can make science-based decisions, not politically-influenced ones.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Science is a hotly debated topic on Capitol Hill, as though scientific theories were subject to political interpretation; nonetheless this time it's Democrats who are leading a witch hunt of sorts against climate skeptics. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Democrats ... continue reading


NASA warns of 'megadrought' that could cause massive collapse Watch

Image of NASA is warning that the current drought in the Western half of the U.S. will be nothing compared to future droughts that will impact the region.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study from NASA warns that the United States is going to endure a drought. The likes of which may not have been seen in 1,000 years; the kind of drought that contributed heavily to the fall of per-colonial Native American civilizations and may cause immense ... continue reading


Will the United States run dry? Nation at risk for prolonged drought Watch

Image of Extended drought in the central plains could possibly lead to food shortages and famines.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A comparative study has found that the American southwest and central plains could face super-droughts the like of which they have not witnessed in over a 1,000 years. In the study, researchers compared earlier droughts with climate simulations for the coming ... continue reading


Sobering reality: Enough plastic trash in ocean to put five bags on trash on every foot of coastline - worldwide Watch

Image of Volunteers collect garbage along the shore off Manila Bay, during an environmental project marking World Oceans Day in Paranaque, Metro Manila in this June 8, 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Consider this, the next time you discard a plastic water bottle: There is enough plastic debris in the ocean to fill five grocery bags on every foot of every nation's coastline -- around the globe. Those are the sobering statistics are the recent findings of ... continue reading


The 'greatest scientific scandal': Is global warming a scientist-created problem? Watch

Image of Global warming may not be as real as scientists want you to believe, according to weather trending research.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New data research shows much of the global warming trends and temperatures have been tampered with to show a greater increase in warming than actually exists in prime global warming crisis areas, such as in the Arctic. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "When ... continue reading


Pope Francis Calls Christians to Protect the Gift of Creation: Do Not Fear Papal Letter on the Environment Watch

Image of (Pictured: Pope Francis in a reflective moment) The Catholic Church has been green for a lot longer than any modern environmental movement. We are called to what I call a relational environmentalism; one of stewardship with the earth which God has made and entrusted to us to care for and to share. For those eager to understand Catholic teaching on this vital topic, we should always begin with scripture and tradition. - Deacon Keith Fournier

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Our obligation to live a proper stewardship of the environment is grounded in our obligation to - and solidarity with - one another. It begins with the understanding that we have been given to one another as gifts. In addition, creation is a gift, entrusted to us ... continue reading


As world warms up, Iceland is RISING; soil pushed up by melting icecaps Watch

Image of There is geological evidence in Iceland that during the past deglaciation roughly 12,000 years ago, volcanic activity in some regions of Iceland increased thirtyfold.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Global climate change has many fearful that nations' coastlines will eventually be washed away to sea. In Iceland, the opposite appears to be true -- The Earth's crust there is rising. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A recent study has found that as ice melts ... continue reading


You could be the reason fish are vanishing from the oceans! The shocking reality and consequences of harvesting fish into extinction Watch

Image of Researches estimate, oceans may be virtually emptied by 2050.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids; health experts and doctors consistently urge large consumptions of fish every day. However, the populations of fish are rapidly dropping due to massive amounts of human harvesting. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The oceans can ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 5th, 2015 Image

St. John Joseph of the Cross
March 5: St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter