In response to the U.S. Attorney of the Southern State of New York’s indictment of an individual on charges including large-scale rhino horn and elephant ivory trafficking and heroin distribution, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued a statement from Crawford Allan, senior director for TRAFFIC at WWF:
“This is probably the most significant case led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in terms of organized criminal networks overseas and crime convergence. Congratulations to the USFWS, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration are in order for giving this case the priority it merits.
“This indictment suggests two things: First, that there is still high demand for illicit wildlife products, like elephant ivory and rhino horn, among American consumers. Second, that the profits to be made for wildlife smuggling into the US remain high.
“Continued, exemplary collaboration by law enforcement between source, transit and consumer countries as seen in this case, will help disrupt the criminal operations that fund the poaching that has decimated Africa’s rhino and elephant populations in recent years.”