Irishman charged in US in black rhino horns case

2013-09-19 09:04
A pregnant rhino cow has been brutally killed. (Askari Game Lodge & Spa)

A pregnant rhino cow has been brutally killed. (Askari Game Lodge & Spa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

New York - An Irishman used forged documents to sell horns from endangered black rhino to a New York collector for $50 000, prosecutors said.

Michael Slattery was arrested on Saturday at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport while boarding a flight to London.

A judge ordered Slattery held without bail during an appearance on Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn. Slattery's attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

A criminal complaint alleges that in 2010 Slattery travelled from London to Houston to try to buy two horns at a taxidermy auction house. Learning that he needed to be a resident of Texas to make the purchase, he recruited a day labourer to be a straw buyer, the complaint says.

Slattery - identified by US prosecutors as a member of Ireland's Gypsy minority, known there as travellers - and unidentified suspects gave the straw buyer $18 000 in $100 bills to complete the deal, the complaint says.

Thefts

Later that year, Slattery met with a Chinese buyer in Queens and sold four horns using endangered-species bills of sale with fake Fish and Wildlife Service logos on them, the complaint says. It's unclear where he got the additional two horns, it says.

Three of the five species of rhinoceros in Africa and South Asia have been hunted to the verge of extinction because their horns command exceptionally high prices for use in traditional Asian medicine chiefly in China and Vietnam, where the powdered horn is marketed as an aphrodisiac and even as a cure for cancer.

The horns are made of keratin, a fibrous protein that is the building block for skin and hair, and has no documented medicinal value.

In 2011, Europol issued a warning that an Irish Gypsy criminal network based in the County Limerick village of Rathkeale was responsible for dozens of thefts of rhino horns across Europe.

Europol said the thieves, called the Rathkeale Rovers, had already targeted museums, galleries, zoos, auction houses, antique dealers and private collections in Britain, continental Europe, the US and South America.

Earlier this year, masked men stole stuffed rhinoceros heads containing eight valuable horns from the warehouse of Ireland's National Museum in a heist being linked to the travellers.
- AP
Read more on:    rhino poaching
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.