Elephants killed and smugglers released

11 Dec 2015

Following an important smuggled ivory seizure in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris in the luggage of two Vietnamese traffickers, the NGO Robin des Bois and Fondation Brigitte Bardot deplore that this significant action ended up in the almost immediate release of the suspects.
These two individuals were transiting from Angola via Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia and about to leave for Hanoi. They were released after 5 hours police custody.
According to the article L 415-6 of the Environment Code and 132-71 of the Penal Code, they are liable to 7 years imprisonment and 150,000 euros fine.

According to the French customs, these two individuals are part of a very well organized network. The legal classification of “organized crime” could be without doubt chosen in this case. Even if a possible fine could be pronounced by the national service of judicial customs by the end of the investigation, it seems clear that it will never be paid.
Most likely, these two traffickers were just mules, paid a few hundreds of euros to convoy the ivory.

This precipitated release is totally incoherent with the government’s recent communication, claiming that stronger measures were taken to fight the traffic of ivory.

On September 15th 2015, a Chinese lady was caught in Beijing Airport for illegal importation of 14.5kg of ivory and was condemned to six and a half years of prison (see « On the Trail » n°10 p. 66).

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