A large consignment of ivory was seized by the authorities of Sri Lanka customs on 22ndmay 2012. The containers with ivories were on the transshipment to Dubai via port of Colombo. Shipment had been originated in Kenya. The ivories were hidden in one of the three containers which supposed to be containing plastic materials for recycling. Four hundred ivories were recovered from the container while it was hidden in with recycling material.
The stock of ivory believed to be of South African origin. Naturalists say that large number of elephants must have been killed to get a stock of ivory in that scale. It is estimated that around 250 elephants had been killed to get the ivories. The stock of ivory believed to be worth around 36 million rupees. Custom authorities claim it is been one of the largest illicit ivory consignment discovered in the country. Further to authorities it has been transshipment and there is no Sri Lankan involvement in the incident.
The authorities of Sri Lanka will conduct the further investigations with help of international police. In the shipment of the ivory, Sri Lanka used as the transit country in the supply route. Malaysia had been one of the mostly used transit countries in the illicit ivory trade route in the past, but with more and more seizure of illicit ivories, traffickers changes the routes constantly in order to elude the authorities.
Normally when the shipment of illegal ivories enters Asia the documents are changed, there by the shipment appears to be re-exporting from that particular Countries rather than an onward shipment. The custom authorities of Colombo have not made any comment to the media if the documentation of the shipment was changed.
Illicit ivory trade is on the rise for the last few years, Kenya and Tanzania ports have come to fore with seizure of large stock of illicit ivories. 2011 had been the worst year for the ivory seizure in the last 23 years. The illicit ivory smuggling is on rise mainly due to the increasing demand for the ivories from Asian countries. Mafia gangs who are mainly drive the illicit ivory smuggling use sea transport as well as freight transport today. According to the experts Illegal ivory trade takes place via many routes but mostly they ended up in China or Thailand.
Sri Lanka has strong rules and regulation regarding the fauna and flora smuggling within its borders. Sri Lankan government has tightened the rules and regulations and increased the charges related to illicit possession of national and international fauna and flora.
Sri Lanka police arrest a person with protected fauna
Netherlands national is arrested by the Sri Lankan police with protected fauna in possession.
The Netherlands person was arrested near the world heritage primeval rain forest Sinharaja. Wild life officials are suspecting that the person was attempting to smuggle some rare species of fauna from the country.
Police have found few animals in his possession such as live gecko and several other insects. Few centipede and corpses of insects also found in his possession
There were equipments also in his possession that had been used to catch the animals. Chemicals that used to conserve bugs also found in his possession. The Netherlands national, who claims to be a photographer, is remanded till April 25 and will be produced to the court.
Protected Fauna and Flora in Sri Lanka
Purchase and export without License of any wild animal, bird or reptile dead or alive; also the export of parts of such animal - bird or reptile, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers id prohibited under the Fauna and Flora protection ordinance. Occasional exports are however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export over450 plant species without special permits.
Fauna Flora act
The fauna and flora protection act was first introduced in 1st of March 1938. Initially it was covering around 34 forests and reserves in Sri lanka such as Yala national park, Vilpattu, Gal oya, Adams peak, Wasgamuwa, Chundiculam, Wiravila, Kumana, Bundala, Somawathiya, Tamankaduwa, Madupara reserve, Sinharaja. The intention of introducing the act was protecting the protecting the fauna and flora of the country. Same times it helps to retain the endemic fauna and flora within the borders of the country. The protected areas are divided into four categories in the act namely strict nature reserves, nature reserves, national parks and corridors. Initially it was covering around 2437 sq,miles. According to the act only the authorized people are allowed to enter the protected areas and they need to get the prior permission from the respective government institutions.
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