A New York antiques dealer was sentenced on 5 December 2013 for conspiracy to smuggle rhino horn and ivory in the form of artifacts from Asia.

The antiques dealer, Qiang Wang, was sentenced to three years and one month with a further three years supervised release by a United States federal court. In our opinion this is hopelessly too short a sentence, but a positive step towards warning those wanting to smuggle rhino horn and ivory of the consequences.

This followed his arrest  in February 2013 as a result of “Operation Crash”, an ongoing nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Justice Department to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

Wang worked with two Chinese nationals to source Asian artifacts made from rhino horn and elephant ivory from auction houses and galleries in the United States for the purpose of smuggling these items to China.

Wang sent these items using the U.S. Postal Service and express mail services. He made false customs declarations, and knowingly exported rhino horn and ivory without USFWS approval or valid CITES export permits.

In a statement released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe:

This slaughter is fueled by illegal trade, including that exposed by Operation Crash.

We will continue to work relentlessly across the United States government and with our international partners to crack down on poaching and wildlife trafficking.

Article Source: Annamiticus

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