EXCLUSIVE: Border surge sends prices soaring; smugglers can earn $200,000


EXCLUSIVE: Border surge sends prices soaring; smugglers can earn $200,000

The Washington Times https://www.washingtontimes.com

This is the first in a three-part series.

Victoria Perez spent 10 months as a migrant smuggler. When agents finally caught up with her, she told them she had made $200,000 over that time, working two days a week, driving migrants through a Border Patrol highway checkpoint near El Paso, Texas.

She charged $1,500 per person when the checkpoint was operating but only $600 when the checkpoint was closed because the risk was low and the roads were wide open, she told agents.

The $200,000 she earned for what was essentially part-time work exceeds the annual salary of a member of Congress. It works out to three times the starting pay for a Border Patrol agent.

Perez was, in essence, a gig worker, contracting herself as a driver for a much larger organization.

It has become an accepted part of border wisdom that the surge of illegal immigrants is enriching the cartels. That’s true to some extent, but most of the money ends up not in the hands of the Gulf Cartel or Zetas, but in the pockets of people like Perez.

Price of Passage: Illegal immigrants spend billions of dollars each year to be smuggled into the U.S. — chart (The Washington Times)

And 2021 is turning into a boom year. Based on the number of migrants and the prices they are paying, smugglers are easily on track for their biggest profits in history.

“Demand is so strong that the prices are going up,” said Todd Bensman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies who tracks smuggling tactics. “There’s huge, huge money being made right now.”

Talk to anyone familiar with the cartels, and they will inevitably start speaking in business terms. People are the product, and their families are the customers paying to smuggle them into the U.S. The cartels franchise the operations to coordinators and independent operators such as Perez.

What the cartels are selling is a vision: the American dream. People who have the cash or, more often, are willing to go into debt pay big money to chase that dream.

What the organizations bring to the table is logistics. The coordinators arrange housing, meals and transportation for tens of thousands of people each month who make the trip, and the cartels take a cut of the profit.

The Washington Times has tracked smuggling cases along the southwestern border for several years and maintains a database based on affidavits from Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and Customs and Border Protection officers. The accounts in this article are chiefly based on those interviews.

According to The Times’ data, Mexicans paid an average of about $7,900 in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic upended cross-border traffic. The average payment this February rose to about $8,900. Central Americans’ average payment increased from about $9,400 last year to $11,000. Rates have held fairly steady in the months since.

Who’s getting paid?

For some migrants, the first contact with a smuggling organization begins in South America or even farther afield. Federal authorities in recent years have broken up several smuggling operations that they said specialized in guiding migrants from terrorism-tinged parts of the world such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. They travel through Brazil and then up the spine of the Western Hemisphere to reach the U.S. border.

Most of the migrants, though, are likely to begin their transactions with hawkers in plazas in southern Mexico or Central America.

Victor Manjarrez, a former chief patrol agent in the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, sector and now a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the scene is like something out of Las Vegas, where street hawkers pass out flyers for shows on the Strip.

The product the smugglers are selling is the fastest or safest trip north. In some cases, it’s a two-for-one promise: If you get caught the first time, then the smugglers will give you a second attempt free of charge.

Migrants fork out payments along the trip for every bus ride, boat trip or foot guide. 

Darlyn Josue Mass-Montenegro, a Honduran man nabbed in 2019 as part of a group of 23 migrants in a truckload of watermelons, gave agents the breakdown of the $13,000 tab for reaching Los Angeles: $3,000 in Honduras; $1,500 in Monterrey and $2,000 in Tamaulipas, Mexico; $1,500 to the stash house operator who kept him holed up at a car wash in McAllen, Texas; and $2,000 in Houston. The remainder was due once he reached Los Angeles.

That doesn’t include out-of-pocket costs.

Many migrants who take the land route to Panama cross the forbidding jungle of the Darien Gap and emerge at the village of Bajo Chiquito. There, they pay $5 for a canoe ride downriver to a migrant camp. Such scenes are repeated dozens of times across a journey.

The big money, though, is collected near the U.S. border.

Someone usually houses the migrants on the Mexican side. Migrants owe a “piso” or “mafia fee” to whatever cartel controls the approach they’re taking to cross the border. They also must pay a foot guide to take them through the desert or someone to raft them across the Rio Grande, and a driver to pick them up and transport them to a stash house on the U.S. side, where they wait for a long-haul driver to try to get them through the network of Border Patrol checkpoints that act as secondary borders.

The checkpoint is the key step for most migrants. Once they make it through the checkpoint, they are in the interior of the U.S. and are unlikely to be caught, much less deported.

Drivers might earn about $50 per person to ferry migrants along local routes from the border to nearby stash houses.

Stash house operators get more. Eduardo Salinas, nabbed May 24 in Eagle Pass, Texas, by agents who heard he was threatening migrants at the stash house he was running, told agents he was paid $500 per person. He was holding six people at the time he was arrested.

Bringing food to a stash house can earn a couple of hundred bucks a week.

Scouts, who track Border Patrol movements or run interference on driving routes, also can make a couple of hundred per job.

Truck drivers are usually paid the most. A single run can net tens of thousands of dollars.

Richard Codoluto, nabbed by agents last month with 45 illegal immigrants inside his tractor-trailer, said he was getting $15,000 for the trip and had made 10 or so previous runs.

Rafael Cazarez, arrested May 28 near Laredo with a load of 54 migrants in a truck, told agents he charged a “flat rate” of $50,000 for each run. He said that was his eighth trip.

Some smugglers stop for food and pick up snacks for the migrants. Others treat them like merchandise. They lock the migrants inside compartments, zip them into suitcases or force them into car trunks.

Things can go tragically wrong, particularly in the summer heat along much of the border. Agents often take the temperatures of compartments where they find migrants stashed and regularly find the thermometer topping 100 degrees.

Agents at a California checkpoint nabbed two people carrying two illegal immigrants in the trunk of a Nissan Sentra in the June heat. Using a Fluke 917 Temperature Humidity Meter, agents measured 134 degrees in the trunk. The Mexican migrants had paid $8,000 apiece for the trip. The smugglers were sentenced to time served.

Two months later, agents at the same checkpoint in the desert just south of the Salton Sea found migrants stashed in the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. They recorded a temperature of 158 degrees.

Judges often respond with stiff sentences.

Juan Contreras was sentenced last month to nearly 11 years in prison for migrant smuggling — his third conviction — after he was found carrying 35 illegal immigrants in the trailer of his truck, which broke down on the side of Interstate 35.

The tow truck driver heard banging from inside the trailer and called Border Patrol. Agents arrived to find that the migrants had punched holes in the trailer to try to escape the heat. Two had passed out and were rushed to a hospital for treatment. Contreras admitted that he never tried to help the migrants.

The border surge this year has been accompanied by a rise in deaths. Drownings, death by exposure and highway accidents are increasing, law enforcement officials say.

Those who study the smuggling operations say rough treatment is common. They aren’t surprised when migrants are viewed as cargo or merchandise.

The FBI brought charges April 30 against two people who agents said ran an extortion operation in New Mexico, where migrants were held and beaten until their families paid extra. The violence was captured on video and sent to relatives to hasten the payments.

One family paid $7,000 to have a Honduran man released. Another man, from the country of Georgia, said his family paid $10,000.

That same day in Houston, police got a call from a woman who said she had paid $11,000 to smuggle her brother from Honduras into the U.S. and was told he was being held for an additional $6,300 ransom. Police tracked down the smugglers’ cellphone number, sent in a SWAT team and found 97 illegal immigrants stuffed into two rooms with deadbolt locks to prevent escape.

The need for cash during the pandemic has created a large pool of people willing to smuggle, but some stand out.

Perez, the woman who earned $200,000 in 10 months of smuggling migrants around a highway checkpoint, walked the route herself and mapped it out.

She knew the 2-mile hike took two hours. She would drop off migrants just west of the checkpoint, drive through the checkpoint alone and then wait a couple of hours at a rest stop before heading to the pickup spot. Her usual destination was Dallas.

Perez was nabbed in December 2019 while dropping off 12 people before the checkpoint. At $1,500 a head, she stood to make $18,000 for that load alone.

She told agents her employer was a man in a Juarez, Mexico, prison and paid her by MoneyGram.

Perez pleaded guilty to that smuggling charge and was ordered to report to prison six months later, but she was arrested again in another smuggling attempt in May 2020. She told agents she was trying to make some quick cash to support her son while she was behind bars.

Francisco Javier Ayala-Reyes, arrested at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas in October with two illegal immigrants in his SUV, told agents he had been involved in smuggling since age 11. He was to be paid $3,200 per person when he dropped off the two sisters in Houston.

He said he picked up the women from a stash house, where he saw 30 illegal immigrants as well as drugs. He selected the two women for the run because they looked the most “American.” He figured they would be less likely to be flagged at the checkpoint.

He told the women to rub some oil on their hands, but the oil turned out to have some properties of marijuana. When he arrived at the checkpoint near Sarita, a Border Patrol dog trained to sniff out drugs and smuggled humans alerted on the vehicle. 

He was sentenced last month to time served in prison plus three months of house arrest. He also was ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment.

Ayala-Reyes preferred American-looking migrants, but Jose Rene Gonzalez told agents he usually asked for Chinese because they were usually smaller and easier to conceal. He got a 28-month sentence for a 2019 attempt.

Sometimes it is illegal immigrants who are pressured into doing the smuggling.

Agents this month nabbed a carload of migrants who said the smuggler insisted that one of them drive the SUV. The smuggler followed in another vehicle. Agents charged the Mexican illegal immigrant, who paid $10,000 for the trip and then got recruited to drive, but the man who orchestrated the scheme got away.

Who’s paying?

Taken as a whole, migrants are paying billions of dollars a year to be smuggled.

The rate can vary dramatically. It depends on where the migrant is from, the route they take and, in particular, how they choose to enter the U.S.

Among the more expensive options is being boated up the California coast and dropped off at a San Diego beach. Mexicans pay perhaps $15,000 for the trip.

Coming through an official border crossing stashed in a car trunk or stuffed into an aftermarket compartment between the engine and glove compartment — a surprisingly common method — also commands top dollar. A common rate in recent months is $18,000.

Chinese migrants smuggled through those border crossings pay the highest rates, according to The Times’ database, with some topping $70,000. The average rate is nearly $30,000.

Swimming the Rio Grande or walking over the border in Arizona or California is usually the cheapest way. Some migrants say they paid as little as $500, but a $20,000 tab is not uncommon for Brazilians and $17,000 is a frequent rate for Ecuadorians.

Mexicans usually have the lowest payments. Central Americans come in slightly higher.

Meralis Reanos-Canales told agents she paid $9,000 to smugglers for her journey from Honduras. She was shuttled between stash houses on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande before she got a chance to cross. She was given a wristband — a tactic smugglers use so they know who is going where — and then swam across the river as part of a group of 35 people.

Once on the banks in the U.S., the migrants ran away from agents before they were loaded into trucks and taken to stash houses.

Ms. Reanos-Canales said she went first to a trailer and then to a “factory,” where hundreds of people were kept. After two weeks and another $1,800, she was told she could leave. The smugglers put her into a Nissan Altima with a driver and three other migrant women. They made it through a Border Patrol checkpoint by lying about their citizenship, but a sheriff’s deputy later stopped the Nissan for speeding and uncovered the smuggling attempt.

Few have upfront cash for the trip. They borrow from family, friends or neighbors and sometimes go into debt to cartels with plans to work it off once they reach their destinations. Most find their own way to northern Mexico and hook up with smugglers for the final push into the U.S.

Mr. Manjarrez said 40 to 50 people can be involved in a single migrant’s journey, and each of them is getting a cut of the money.

Mr. Bensman compared it to a relay race, with migrants as batons handed off from one person to another.

Everyone knows their territory. Some specialize in mountains, and others get migrants onto the trains that run across Mexico. They have relationships with local authorities and know whom to pay to ease the passage.

Mr. Bensman once tried to arrange a fake smuggling trip north from Central America. He was told it would cost $1,000 just to move someone from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.

“They said, ‘We need the money to pay the police,’” he said.

The cartels, which sometimes oversee the trips, come into play when it’s time to cross the border.

They control the approaches and charge for each crossing through their territory. Some agents refer to it as a “mafia fee,” and migrants call it a “piso.” The fee can range from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $1,000.

During a visit in the Rio Grande Valley several years ago, Mr. Manjarraz said, agents told him they had calculated that the cartel controlling the routes into that region made $100 million over the previous 12 months simply from fees paid by folks taking those routes.

That’s one cartel in one region of the border.

The Rand Corp. developed its own estimates. It calculated that pisos paid by migrants from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in 2017 ranged from $30 million to $180 million.

‘The winners are the cartels’

Like so much about illegal immigration, a massive range of uncertainty is involved. For one thing, it’s impossible to know exactly how many people are coming across the border.

The government reports arrests, but Customs and Border Protection declined to release its data to The Times on “gotaways,” or migrants known to have crossed but evaded capture.

In Texas, the Department of Public Safety runs a network of cameras at the border and calculates that the number of gotaways is up 156% from last year.

Cochise County in Arizona, which also runs its own camera system, calculated that only 27.6% of migrants spotted jumping the border from July through January were caught by Border Patrol agents.

Using that “probable capture rate” as a rough yardstick means that if agents borderwide nabbed 96,974 migrants last month, another 250,000 or so made it through. Even assuming the “gotaway” rate is higher in Arizona’s remote areas than in Texas, many people still don’t show up in the monthly apprehension statistics.

The gotaway numbers don’t account for those who sneak into the U.S. by hiding in car trunks, gas cans or other nooks and crannies in vehicles coming through the official border crossings or who are carried by boat or personal watercraft north along the coast.

Agents generally figure that the ratio of gotaways versus those apprehended is steady. If the rate of apprehensions doubles, so does the number of people who evade capture. That means the smuggling world’s income is growing along with it.

Given that Border Patrol arrests more than tripled from about 30,000 in February 2020 to about 97,000 last month, it stands to reason that the smuggling world’s income also has tripled, assuming all else is the same.

“The winners here in open borders are the cartels,” said Mark Morgan, a former chief of the Border Patrol and acting commissioner at Customs and Border Protection in the Trump administration.

Business is so good that operations are expanding. The Big Bend area of Texas, which is so rugged and remote that smugglers usually have avoided it, has suddenly become active.

“They’ve got so much revenue now and so many more resources available to them they’re able to take these tactics and open up new franchises now, and Big Bend is one of the franchises now,” Mr. Morgan said.


Woman pleads guilty to illegally selling shark fins at her Portland market | KATU

by KATU StaffTuesday, June 23rd 2020

Oregon State Police say Agnes Yu sold dried shark fin at Wing Ming Herbs. (Photo: Oregon State Police)

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Happy Valley woman pleaded guilty to illegal selling shark fin at a Portland Market back in 2018.

On June 4, 52-year-old Agnes Yu pleaded guilty to one count of possessing, selling, or trading shark fin, after selling dried shark fin through Wing Ming Herbs, a specialty food store in southeast Portland that she and her husband own.

In 2011, Oregon lawmakers passed a law prohibiting people from possessing and selling shark fins.

Investigators said an anonymous source had approached Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Troopers and said they had heard Wing Ming Herbs was selling shark fin.null

That person became an undercover informant for investigators.

On January 23, 2018, the informant was able to record the purchase of six packages of dried, processed shark fin from Yu.

Yu was not cited for the offense until September of 2019 due to a separate investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Shark fin is a delicacy in some cultures and broth made with the fin is traditional fare for weddings and other occasions. Large single fins are most prized, with trimmings from those fins creating a lesser product.

DNA testing of the dried fins from Wing Ming Herbs returned trimmings from five shark species: Blue shark, black-nose shark, Caribbean sharp-nosed shark, small tail shark and small eye hammerhead shark.

Yu was sentenced to 12 months bench probation, $1,000 in fines and $360 in restitutions for the Class A Misdemeanor.


Petition: Ban the Sale of Elephant Ivory in Canada #ivoryfreecanada

Will we be the generation that lets elephants become extinct?

A shocking 20,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory. Scientists and conservationists agree that at this rate, both African and Asian elephants will be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.

Even so, at the last IUCN World Conservation Congress, Canada was 1 of only 4 countries to oppose the closure of domestic ivory markets across the globe.

Ivory is so valuable on the black market that organized terrorism syndicates such as the Lord’s Resistance Army are committing mass slaughter using helicopters and AK-47 rifles. In 1980 Africa had more than 1.3 million elephants – today it has approximately 415,000. In less than 40 years, 70% of our elephants have disappeared.

In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) made it illegal to sell elephant ivory internationally. But each country makes its own laws regarding the sale of ivory within their borders. When domestic trade is allowed it permits illegal ivory (poached after 1989) to be sold along with legal ivory because it’s difficult to differentiate between old and new ivory without extensive and costly testing. The only way to protect elephants from extinction is to ban ALL elephant ivory trade.

China is the largest consumer of ivory in the world. It shut down its domestic ivory trade at the end of 2017. If China can stop their domestic trade, why can’t Canada?

On March 1, 2018, the United States lifted the ban on the importation of elephant trophies. If the U.S. cannot protect elephants, there is even more onus on the rest of the world to do all we can to save this iconic species.

We feel new legislation can protect both elephants and the indigenous trade of narwhal and walrus. We ask the government of Canada to:

  1. ban all domestic trade of elephant ivory; and
  2. make the import, export and re-export of all elephant ivory illegal.

Let’s make Canada one of the many countries changing their laws to allow the survival of the world’s largest land mammal before it’s too late. Sign for an #ivoryfreecanada.

Fran Duthie
President, Elephanatics

Photo Credit: Larry Laverty


Southern California Man Convicted After Illegally Selling Narwhal Tusks To An Undercover Officer For $30,000 Each – World Animal News

By WAN –
October 17, 2018

Left Photo by CDFW / Right Photo by Paul Nicklen – National Geographic Creative – WWF-Canada
A Los Angeles County jury recently convicted Anthony Buccola of Newport Beach, California, and his business, Antonio’s Bella Casa, on misdemeanor charges of selling narwhal tusks. Buccola and his business were found guilty on August 1st in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Buccola was sentenced to 36 months probation with search terms, 200 hours of community service or 20 days in jail, $5,000.00 fine plus penalty assessment and forfeiture of the narwhal tusks. Antonio Bella Casa, Inc, was sentenced to 36 months probation with search terms, a fine of $5,000.00 plus penalty assessment and forfeiture of the narwhal tusk. The penalty was set pursuant to Fish and Game Code, section 2022, which took effect on July 1, 2016.
The investigation began in December 2016, when wildlife officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division Trafficking Unit saw two narwhal tusks displayed at the retail antique store. The tusks were 79 and 87 inches long. An officer visited Antonio’s Bella Casa and an employee offered to sell the narwhal tusks for $35,000.00 each. He ultimately agreed to sell the tusks to an undercover officer for $30,000.00 each.
The tusks were seized as evidence and the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Lab conducted additional analysis. Wildlife forensics specialists confirmed the tusks were from narwhal, a small arctic whale.
“We would like to thank the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and specifically their Environmental Justice Unit for their assistance in this investigation and the subsequent prosecution,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Law Enforcement Division Chief in a statement. “The penalties assessed by this court should deter further acts of ivory trafficking and prove California’s commitment to halting the demand for ivory which contributes to poaching of narwhal in their native range.”
“Selling ivory is not only illegal, it’s immoral,” said Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney. “The ivory trade is abominable, with devastating consequences that imperil threatened species like the narwhal. This prosecution and conviction sends the strong message that those who may think of selling ivory tusks will be held accountable. I also want to thank our partners at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for their close partnership on this important issue.”
Assembly Bill 96, authored in 2015 by then Assembly Speaker and current Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), made it unlawful to purchase, sell, offer for sale, possess with intent to sell or import with intent to sell ivory or rhinoceros horn, except as specified. AB 96 defines ivory as the tooth or tusk from a species of elephant, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, walrus, warthog, whale or narwhal, or a piece thereof, whether raw ivory or worked ivory, and includes a product containing, or advertised as containing, ivory.
A first-time violation of this law is a misdemeanor subject to specified criminal penalties and fines between $1,000.00 and $40,000.00, depending upon the value of the item.


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TAGS :Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,conservation,Ivory,Narwhal,Whales

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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Justice for Five Lions Murdered with Poison and Mutilated

Poachers have broken into a wildlife reserve and brutally killed five lions with poison. The lions suffered horrible deaths and were then mutilated by the killers. Sign this petition to demand the poachers be brought to justice.

Source: Justice for Five Lions Murdered with Poison and Mutilated

Petition: Tell Hong Kong: End the hippo ivory trade | African Wildlife Foundation



Stop the Giraffe Body Parts Trade in U.S.


The world’s giraffe population has dropped an alarming 40 percent in the last 20 years, partly due to a booming trade of giraffe parts in the United States. These beautiful, gentle creatures will disappear forever if this is allowed to continue. Sign this petition to save the remaining giraffes from extinction.

Source: Stop the Giraffe Body Parts Trade in U.S.

23 Alleged Rhino Poachers Arrested In South Africa Since Tragic Death Of Ranger Respect Mathebula At Kruger National Park! – World Animal News


By Lauren Lewis –
August 8, 2018

R.I.P. Ranger Respect Mathebula
While still mourning the tragic death of one of their own late last month, members of the Rangers Corps in South Africa are responsible for the recent arrests of 23 suspected rhino poachers in Kruger National Park (KNP).
Tragically, as previously reported by WAN, on Thursday, July 19th, Respect Mathebula became the second Ranger casualty since 1958 involving a poacher contact in Park. Mathebula was shot after making contact with a poaching group that they had been tracking.
As per the organization, Respect joined SANParks in February 2015 as Field Ranger at Shangoni Ranger Section. In July 2016, he moved to Crocodile Bridge Section in the same position and worked there until he passed away.
In a statement released earlier this week by South African National Parks, Managing Executive of KNP, Glenn Phillips commended the work of the Rangers saying they are resilient in the aftermath of the tragic loss of a colleague.
“The arrests are a sign that the Spirit of Respect is being honored by the Rangers Corps,” noted Phillips. “Further to this, the fact that no poachers were wounded or killed in these contacts is a clear demonstration of the professionalism and discipline that embodies our Ranger Corps.”
According to Phillips, there has been relentless poacher activity since Mathebula’s passing, with 156 incidents reported including contacts.
“We are still making a plea to our neighbouring communities to help us in this fight by exposing those who are exploiting their children, husbands, and relatives to hunt rhino illegally,” continued Phillips. “These people do not have the welfare of the communities at heart but are criminals without a conscience, and they need to be put behind bars for a long time for their criminal acts.”
The 23 arrested suspects were also in possession of 10 high calibre rifles and poaching equipment. They will be facing charges related to poaching and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
“Very few people have the courage and necessary skills to perform this important task other than Rangers, in which Respect was and will forever be part of. Etlela hi kurhula Respect – May your soul rest in peace,” the organization shared in a tribute to the lost hero who left behind his wife, Wisdom Ndlovu, their four children, five brothers, two sisters and all other family members. “You upheld the Ranger values and flew the SANParks flag high with honour. We are poorer with your absence but will continue where you left off.”
WAN salutes Mathebula and his fellow Rangers who continue to work tirelessly and selflessly to protect some of the world’s most endangered species from some of the planet’s most egregious predators, greedy humans!


© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! 6 Alleged Wildlife Traffickers Arrested In Myanmar, Southeast Asia; Elephant Hides, Deer Horns & Skulls Among Confiscated Items – World Animal News

By WAN –
June 13, 2018

Six men in the Mandalay, Ayeyarwady, and Bago regions of Myanmar have been arrested for allegedly storing and selling wild animal parts including elephant hides, deer and bison horns, turtle shells and meats, and porcupine quills as well as the bones, claws, paws, and skulls of various animals.
According to the Myanmar Times, the Forestry Department police department issued a statement yesterday explaining that the arrests stemmed from separate law enforcement operations and subsequent raids on June 9th.
The yet-to-be-named suspects, who were charged under the country’s Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law, may face up to seven years in jail for the killing and trading of protected wildlife.
Sadly, the growing demand in surrounding countries was cited as the reason that so many people are now storing and trading wildlife parts in the area.
U Khin Maung Myint, Director of Forestry Department of Ayeyarwady Region noted that the “market emerged as the horns and hides of the animal are hung on the walls for decorative purposes, made into hand wear accessories, and mixed with other medicinal roots for medicine.”
What pointless reasons to take sentient beings lives.
It’s as shameful as it is sad!



© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! Two Suspects Apprehended In Cambodia Following Raid & Seizure Of Massive Amount Of Wildlife Products Sold on Facebook – World Animal News

Breaking! Two Suspects Apprehended In Cambodia Following Raid & Seizure Of Massive Amount Of Wildlife Products Sold on Facebook
By WAN – May 15, 2018

Photos from Wildlife Alliance
Two suspects were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia yesterday for smuggling illegal wildlife products, which were found during a joint-force raid on two houses in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on Thursday.
As per a post by Wildlife Alliance on Friday, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team arrested the alleged wildlife traffickers who were selling parts of endangered species on Facebook.

As previously noted by WAN and supported by a statement released by Wildlife Alliance, Facebook has sadly become a dominant marketplace for buying and selling wildlife products.
According to Wildlife Alliance, in Cambodia, the problem is becoming rampant with wildlife traders easily reaching a nationwide audience in both urban and rural markets.
After investigating a Facebook page selling wildlife products, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) obtained a search warrant.
In the early morning on May 10th, the WRRT split into two teams and simultaneously surrounded two houses containing wildlife products. The WRRT searched the homes and found a staggering amount of native and imported wildlife products including leopard, clouded leopard and sun bear pelts; elephant ivory; tiger claws and whiskers; sun bear and Asiatic black bear claws and gallbladder; elephant, leopard, black bear, sun bear, muntjac, sambar, porcupine and macaque skulls and skull parts (56 total); porcupine stomach and whiskers; hippopotamus teeth; 72 wild pig tusks; and a variety of other wildlife products.
As explained in the Phnom Perth Post, article 49 of the Forestry Law prohibits the processing, hunting, transporting and trading of rare species, while the Law on Natural Protected Areas legislates for a one-to-five-year prison sentence and a fine of between 3,750.00 to $25,000.00 for those who prey on endangered species.


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Facebook Is Profiting From Illegal Wildlife Traffickers


While Mark Zuckerberg was testifying before Congress about Facebook providing user information to Cambridge Analytica, additional disturbing news about his company was making headlines.

Facebook has been making a profit by selling ads on pages that are operated by illegal wildlife traffickers. The pages sell the body parts of endangered animals, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

That’s right, Facebook has allegedly been making money off of the sellers of items like elephant ivory, rhino horns and tiger teeth — in fact, an Associated Press article included a screen grab of a Facebook group page displaying buckets full of the teeth.

According to the complaint, Facebook is violating its responsibilities as a publicly-traded company by knowingly profiting from the criminal trafficking of endangered species. The anonymous whistleblower complaint was filed in August 2017 by the law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto.

As for just how much Facebook is profiting from these ads, the company has never disclosed in its regulatory findings the revenue it may be earning from illegal traffickers, the AP reports.

Hopefully the complaint will launch an SEC investigation into exactly how much of the company’s annual $41 billion revenue is from the sale of endangered animal parts.

Ironically, Facebook was one of 21 technology companies, including Google and Microsoft, that joined the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online just one month ago. The coalition’s goal is to reduce online wildlife trafficking by 80 percent over the next two years.

“Extinctions are forever, so it is an urgent necessity to stop the trafficking on Facebook of critically endangered species immediately and forever,” said the law firm’s Stephen M. Kohn in a statement April 10. “Part of the SEC’s responsibility is to ensure that Facebook investors aren’t unwittingly involved with the criminal trafficking of endangered species.”

That same day, Facebook released its own statement saying it doesn’t permit the sale of wildlife, endangered species or their parts, and that it removes groups that have been identified as engaging in illegal conduct.

But according to the statement from Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, a months-long investigation of various social media platforms by the law firm’s undercover team found “rampant wildlife activity in two places: Facebook and Instagram.”

(Instagram – surprise! — is owned by Facebook.) The statement described the amount of wildlife parts being sold in closed and private Facebook groups as “horrifying.”

“At a time when the world is losing 30,000 elephants a year to poachers, the amount of ivory sold on Facebook is particularly shocking,” the law firm stated.

Its undercover team identified more than a dozen wildlife trafficking networks operating on Facebook and traveled to Vietnam and Laos to meet with ivory traders to confirm they were actively marketing their products on the social media platform.

The word “horrifying” was also used by Gretchen Peters, executive director of the Center on Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime, a nonprofit dedicated to helping governments and communities more efficiently counter these groups.

“I have looked at thousands of posts containing ivory, and I am convinced that Facebook is literally facilitating the extinction of the elephant species,” Peters told the AP.

Instead of helping to decimate what’s left of endangered species, Facebook could do a lot to save them by turning over the information it has about wildlife traffickers to authorities – just like it turned over information about users to Cambridge Analytica.

Doing so could help lead to the largest wildlife law enforcement operation ever, the law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto said in its statement.

Facebook is already losing users, along with billions of dollars in shareholder wealth, over its mishandling of their private information. Even more users and shareholder wealth could (and should) be lost over the very troubling news that Facebook is apparently enabling the illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife.

Please sign this petition urging Facebook to stop advertising on the pages of illegal wildlife traffickers, remove the pages and report these criminals to authorities.http://bit.ly/tell-facebook-to-stop

Four More Sentenced in US Multi-State Dog Fighting Ring

Four More Sentenced in US Multi-State Dog Fighting Ring

Four more people convicted of being part of a multi-state dog fighting ring were sentenced to prison Monday as part of the Justice Department’s nationwide crackdown on dog fighting.

The four men received prison terms ranging from one to five years. A fifth person will be sentenced next month while four others will be put on trial this summer.

“Dog fighting is vicious and cruel. And beyond the needless suffering it inflicts on animals, it exacts a toll on local animal shelters, humane organizations and taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Greg Carpentino said Monday.

The suspects are accused of taking part in a dog fighting ring in four states in which a number of dogs were forced to fight to their bloody death.

Along with causing unspeakable pain and suffering to the animals, U.S. attorneys say dog fighting rings also include other crimes such as illegal gambling, and drug and weapons trafficking.

So far, U.S. agents have rescued 98 dogs as part of Operation Grand Champion. The Humane Society of the United States is helping the Justice Department take care of the saved animals.


Fifth Defendant Sentenced in Dog-Fighting Ring

Fifth Defendant Sentenced in Dog-Fighting Ring
April 18, 2018 10:06 PM

VOA News

FILE – Dogs sit at a home in Auburn, Ala., in this photo provided by the ASPCA. A federal and state investigation into dog fighting and gambling has resulted in the arrest of 12 people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, Aug. 23, 2013.
FILE – Dogs sit at a home in Auburn, Ala., in this photo provided by the ASPCA. A federal and state investigation into dog fighting and gambling has resulted in the arrest of 12 people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, Aug. 23, 2013.

A fifth defendant pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday for his part in a brutal multistate dog-fighting ring.

Mario Atkinson of New Jersey will spend two years in prison and was fined $1,000.

He admitted fighting his dog in Virginia and dumping the dead animal in the garbage after the fight.

Federal agents seized 18 pit bull-type dogs from Atkinson in 2016, saying the dogs had scars and injuries consistent with organized fighting.

“Animal cruelty like the conduct in this case has no place in a civilized society,” U.S. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Wood said.

Four other defendants were given prison terms of one to five years last month as part of Operation Grand Champion, the Justice Department’s nationwide crackdown on dog fighting.

So far, U.S. agents have rescued 98 dogs and The Humane Society of the United States is helping take care of the dogs.

Along with causing pain and suffering to the animals, U.S. attorneys say dog fighting rings also include other crimes such as illegal gambling, and drug and weapons trafficking.


Punish Man Accused of Running Wildlife Smuggling Ring

A man was caught allegedly illegally smuggling rhinoceros horns into Thailand from Africa. It is believed that he has run a notorious smuggling operation for the past decade. Sign this petition to ensure he is severely punished.

Source: Punish Man Accused of Running Wildlife Smuggling Ring

Save Apes from Merciless Smugglers

Human disregard and greed has driven many species to extinction, with little fanfare. Now some of our closest counterparts in the animal kingdom are in immediate danger of a similar fate. Help end the unforgiving ape trade that captures untold numbers of victims each day.

Source: Save Apes from Merciless Smugglers

These Rare Giraffes Were Killed Just for Their Tails (Exclusive Video) | National Geographic

Watch “Watch: Stuffed Tiger and Other Wildlife Contraband Burned” National Geographic

Petition: Justice for Tigers Found in Maggot-Infested Cages – ForceChange


Petition: Save Pangolins from the Illegal Wildlife Trade!

Kenya burns confiscated ivory – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian


                                                        Every 15 minutes a elephant is killed for this


                                                                                       April 30,2016


petition: Tigers slaughtered to produce bone paste to fuel the illegal tiger trade in Vietnam! Please help.



Investigate Police for Allegedly Supporting the Illegal Pet Trade


Animals are allegedly being abused and killed because high ranking police officers are turning a blind eye to the illegal pet trade. Demand this issue be investigated to ensure animals do not continue to suffer and die as a result of the cruel pet trade.

Source: Investigate Police for Allegedly Supporting the Illegal Pet Trade

Petition · Enact Legislation Outlawing Ivory and Rhino Horn Trade in Massachusetts · Change.org



Toy Store Sells Stuffed Animals Made With Real Fur



This Place Is A Zoo
6231 164th St SE
Snohomish, WA 98296

TOLL FREE:  1-855-TPIAZoo   (1-855-874-2900)

PHONE 360-668-9843

STORE HOURS.  10:00am – 4:00pm PST









Punish Man Who Allegedly Sold Protected Eagles on Facebook

Punish Man Who Allegedly Sold Protected Eagles on Facebook.

Fire Forest Rangers for Selling Endangered Animals to Restaurant

Fire Forest Rangers for Selling Endangered Animals to Restaurant.