Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Malaysia's Wildlife trafficking King - Anson Wong !!!

In Malaysia, the authorities are not only arresting Human Traffickers but also Wildlife traffickers as well!!!

One person in Malaysia is known as the "Lizard King" and also known as "the Wildlife Trafficking King of Malaysia" for he is the undisputed trafficker of wildlife species.

He is Anson Wong, whose full name is Wong Keng Liang, 52 years old.

His exotic collection includes snakes, frogs, lizards and tarantula spiders.

His "wildlife trading business" spans across the globe - from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand to Jakarta to Maxico and to the United States of America.

He may be jet-setting around the world, earning millions of dollars but he is being constantly monitored by the international laws including the FBI and Interpol.

The "Lizard King" from the northern Malaysian state of Penang, was eventually caught in his native country in Malaysia.

On the 2nd of September 2010, Anson Wong or also known as the "Pablo Escobar of the Wildlife trade", pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court in Sepang, Selangor to charges of exporting 95 snakes without a permit.

Pablo Escobar was one of the world's biggest drug traffickers!!!

The Lizard King admitted to exporting 95 boa constrictors — which are an endangered species — without a permit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8.50pm on Aug 26 2010.

It had been reported in The Star newspaper that Wong was linked to a December 15th, 2009 seizure in the United States of America, of various types of animals from an exotic animal outlet.

Two of the trader’s companies were found to have been supplying animals to the outlet.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) claimed that CBS Wildlife and Sungai Rusa Wildlife, both owned by Wong, were supplying various types of animals and wildlife.

On Monday 6th September 2010, Wong was jailed six months and fined a total of RM190,000 for smuggling 95 snakes without a permit by the Sepang Session Court in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's Natural Resources and Envi­ronment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said his ministry would appeal and seek a tougher penalty against Wong as he believed the wildlife trafficker got off lightly.

In a related development, The Attorney-General's Chambers of Malaysia has filed an appeal against the sentenced meted out to the so called "Lizard King" for smuggling snakes.

The appeal is for a heavier sentence against Wong, who was only jailed six months and fined a total of RM190,000 by the Sepang Sessions Court for smuggling 95 snakes without a permit.

Wong’s lawyer, M. Sivam, said he had yet to receive instructions from his client to appeal against his sentence.

This is the first time that the "Lizard King" has been sentenced in Malaysia.

Various conservation groups had expressed disappointment with the sentence, saying that Malaysia should show that it was serious in tackling wildlife trafficking, in the same way as tackling Human Trafficking.

Wong pleaded guilty to trafficking wildlife in the United States in 2000 and sentenced to 71 months’ jail.

The chapter Book "Fortress Malay-sia" tells of Wong's dealings with an undercover agent that leads to his arrest in Mexico City in 1998, prior to his conviction in a United States court in 2000.

Wong was subsequently extradited to the US and sentenced in a US federal court in San Francisco to 71 months in prison for trafficking in rare and endangered wildlife.

It was dubbed one of the largest cases of illegal trade ever prosecuted in the US .

Drawing from legal documents, official investigation reports and interviews, the chapter describes how Wong had laundered protected star tortoises by the hundreds though Malaysia and the Middle East .

Frilled dragons, native to New Guinea and Australia , turned up at the Miami International Airport accompanied by Malaysian paperwork.

Wong boasts about working things out with a high-level government official, but now his time may be over.

Source - The Star/WildAsia

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