In the soup – wildlife trafficker extradited to US

A Malaysian man arrested for alleged wildlife trafficking has been extradited to the United States. Teo Boon Ching, 57, was put on a flight to the US at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday night.

The suspect, wanted on a warrant issued by the Criminal Court for colluding in wildlife trafficking and money laundering, was arrested at a Bangkok hotel on June 29.

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau said Ching was wanted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for alleged involvement in a worldwide network of illicit trade in rhinoceros horn, elephant tusks and endangered wild African wildlife. He is also accused of laundering money for wildlife traffickers.

Accused Malaysian wildlife trafficker extradited
Teo Boon Ching, 57, a Malaysian arrested for alleged wildlife trafficking has fast-tracked to the United States. to face retribution.

In comments on its website, the US Treasury Department said Ching, his trafficking organisation and the Malaysian firm Sunrise Greenland engaged in “cruel trafficking of endangered and threatened wildlife and the products of brutal poaching.”

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Ching specialises in the transportation of rhino horn, ivory and pangolin from Africa, using routes through Malaysia and Laos to reach customers in Vietnam and China.

Increasing demand from Asian nations over the last decade has led to a poaching crisis that has decimated many African rhino populations.

In the soup - wildlife trafficker extradited to US | News by Thaiger
At least 2,700 rhinos were poached across Africa between 2018 and 2021, accounting for both the white rhino, which is Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and the rarer, critically endangered black rhino.

The insanely cute pangolin is perhaps the biggest sufferer in the world’s evil wildlife trade. Pangolins are believed to be the world’s most trafficked mammal, accounting for as much as 20% of all illegal wildlife trade, all for completely useless Chinese medicine or to make a tasteless brown soup

In the soup - wildlife trafficker extradited to US | News by Thaiger
Historically pangolins were poached primarily for bushmeat, with their scales cast aside as byproducts. Over the past decade, however, the price fetched for skins, scales and the whole animal in countries like Vietnam and China, as well as in the US, has resulted in decimated populations.

Ching faces one count of conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and two counts of money laundering in the US.

The money laundering charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The trafficking conspiracy charge a maximum of five years.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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