Seattle arrests two men involved in sending ivory and white rhinoceros horn to America


The African elephant ivory trade is not promoted in the United States. The product is almost completely banned, and trading in such products must comply with the international treaty. Police arrested two people outside of Seattle. They belonged to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and were involved in the ivory and white rhinoceros trade to the United States. The arrest took place last week. The federal prosecutor announced that they have plans to ship more such items. Those associated with such activities usually do so for financial reasons.

NBC News provides details.

Both men are between 20 and 30 years old. They are charged with smuggling, money laundering and violating Lacey Law. The last one is for providing false information about the shipments. The Ministry of Justice confirms this. The men tried to camouflage the objects in order to avoid detection. It appears that they first cut the elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn into smaller pieces. When that was done, they applied black paint and held it between pieces of black wood. In December 2016, China stopped the ivory trade, which dealt the death blow to elephant poaching.

The trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn reduces the number of animals

There is an illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. Poachers kill the animals and remove elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns.

This leads to a decrease in their number. Killing elephants for ivory is inhuman. persons travel from far away to enjoy rides on the pachyderms through the jungle. However, groups of unscrupulous people are involved in killing them for their tusks. Two of them are in police custody in Seattle. These men appeared to be paying bribes to officials in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to NBC News.

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They made arrangements to ship the materials out of the country. It was a big show and the destination was the United States. In August 2017, authorities in Central Park New York crushed millions of dollars’ worth of ivory into powder.

Pangolin scales there too, along with ivory and rhinoceros horn

NBC News mentions the involvement of an intermediary.

He used online profiles to connect buyers. Undercover US agents are conducting the investigation. The Justice Department confirms – “The investigation is ongoing.” It appears that a task force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa has confiscated large quantities of ivory and pangolin scales. White rhinoceros were also offered. There is a demand for these items in some parts of the world and unscrupulous elements use them to fill their pockets. The World Wildlife Fund has classified these animals as “Near Threatened”. The value of the seizure is around $ 3.5 million. The US has arrested two men who pleaded not guilty. An August 2019 report said the ivory sales ban remains in place despite efforts by some African countries to lift it.

Alleged smuggling of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns

A federal grand jury has indicted several DRC foreigners on multiple charges, according to AP News. These are conspiracies, money laundering and alleged smuggling of ivory and rhinoceros horns into the country. They were involved in bringing the poached items to Seattle in 2020 and arrested them on November 2 when they landed in Edmonds to negotiate further deliveries. This is announced by the Department of Homeland Security. These shipments violate the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This is an international agreement that aims to extend protection to plants and animals that are threatened with extinction.

According to officials, Washington was a center for smuggling illegal animal parts. This could be because it is a travel hub on the west coast and is close to Asia, where the demand for items of this type is high.