$1m reward to bust SA-linked poaching ring

2013-11-14 13:40
US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Roslan Rahman, AFP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Roslan Rahman, AFP)

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Cape Town – US secretary of state John Kerry has offered a $1m reward in efforts to bust a poaching ring based in Laos and operating in South Africa and other countries.

AFP reports that the first-of-its-kind reward by the US state department targets the Xaysavang Network which operates in widespread areas including South Africa, Mozambique, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and China.

In a press statement Kerry said that profits from wildlife trafficking are estimated at $8-10bn per year, an amount used to fund other illegal activities like narcotics, arms, and human trafficking.

"The involvement of sophisticated transnational criminal organisations in wildlife trafficking perpetuates corruption, threatens the rule of law and border security in fragile regions," he said.

“That is why the department of state is offering a reward of up to $1m for information leading to the dismantling of the Xaysavang Network.”

According to Annamiticus the Xaysavang Network is led by Laotian businessman, Vixay Keosavang, who told the New York Times that people are slandering him and directed questions to Lao officials.

At a South African trial in 2012 he acknowledged receiving rhino horns from South Africa “in good faith” and that Laotian officials were aware of the shipment.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  us  |  south afirca  |  poaching

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