untouchable animal smuggler

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/asia/notorious-figure-in-animal-smuggling-beyond-reach-in-laos.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Mr. Vixay (wee-sai) has been in the business of smuggling animals, trading trading animals, and selling animal parts for years. In fact, he is the most well known man in the animal trading business in all of Asia. The worst part about it is, he is virtually untouchable as long as he stays in his own country of Laos. He was almost caught and brought to justice a few years ago. Investigators hoped that if the case didn’t dismantle Mr. Vixay’s operation all together, it would at least do some damage to it, but sadly, the case fell through and he walked away scott-free. The only thing investigators can do is follow him until he trips up again– and they have been following him for eight years now.

United Nations has more recently become concerned that he is also trading endangered animals based upon some of Vixay’s documents. Most endangered species are not under any circumstances allowed to be traded in any country by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

I found this section of the article to be most appauling:
“A single sales contract from 2009 obtained by Freeland suggests the large volume of animals that Mr. Vixay trades in. Xaysavang Trading, Mr. Vixay’s company, agreed to sell 70,000 snakes, 20,000 turtles and 20,000 monitor lizards to a Vietnamese company in a deal worth $860,000.

Experts say the sheer volume of animals is evidence of laundering. Breeding 20,000 of the species of turtle that Mr. Vixay’s company commonly sells could take a decade, according to Doug Hendrie, an adviser at Education for Nature, a group in Vietnam that conducts investigations into wildlife crime.

In recent years, Thai authorities have intercepted a number of trucks carrying turtles, tiger cubs, tiger carcasses, pangolins and snakes headed for Mr. Vixay’s businesses on the other side of the Mekong River, according to Freeland.

In addition, 280 kilograms of ivory — more than 600 pounds — seized by the Kenyan wildlife police was addressed to Mr. Vixay’s company.”

Yikes. Read the article yourself. It’s not very long, but it’s very interesting

 

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