FREELAND APPEALS TO PUBLIC, INSIDERS TO HELP LOCATE UNSTOPPABLE WILDLIFE TRAFFICKERS
LATEST SEIZURE OF BODY PARTS REPRESENTS 140 ELEPHANTS AND OVER 1,000 PANGOLINS
Today Freeland announces a rewards program for information leading to the arrest of criminals responsible for the slaughter of elephants, rhinos, tigers, and many other rare and endangered species that continue to be poached from various countries and trafficked through Southeast Asia in large quantities. The rewards program starts today, following the recent multiple seizures of yet more illegal hauls of wildlife body parts from Africa. The latest seizure represents 140 poached African elephants and well over 1,000 African pangolins, which were concealed in freight marked as “wigs” traveling from Nigeria to Laos via Singapore and Thailand. The body parts have a market value of 40 million baht (US$1.1 million), and aroused suspicion among Customs officers at Samui International Airport because the boxes weighed over 1,200kg in total – much more than they would had they contained wigs.
As officers unloaded box after box of endless tusks of all sizes, and sacks spilling over with pangolin scales, they described how these criminals operate. They said the smuggling is done through a company, and that once caught they just start another company and continue operations through there. “It’s time to start seizing the traffickers who ordered these body parts,” said Steven Galster, Founder of Freeland. “Wildlife seizures mark the beginning of the investigation, but too often this is where the action stops, which allows these murderers, whoever they are, to strike again and again. We are hereby appealing to the public and to any person inside the trade, ports, or government agencies –anyone with good information — to help us find and stop these serial killers, and you will be rewarded.”
Freeland’s wildlife trafficking research reveals that while elephants and other endangered species of Africa and Asia are being shot or bagged by poachers in the field, who are sponsored by organized criminal syndicates based in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.
Freeland’s rewards program conceals the identity of people who provide information on the persons involved in the illegal supply chain, and will pay according to the quality of the information and the level of criminal it describes. Visit FreeSpy for more information.
Solid leads will be provided to trusted, capable law enforcement authorities working in the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network and our partner agencies for corroboration and final action.
For more information and photos, please contact:
Matthew Pritchett, Director of Communications, Freeland, firstname.lastname@example.org
+66 2 254 8321 ext 121
Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; follow Freeland on twitter @FREELANDpeople or facebook.com/