While attending a recent conference hosted by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations I had the opportunity to chat with Mr. Marat Murtuzaliev, the Head of the Domodedovo Customs Office who said:

“15-20 years ago, animals of CITES-listed species were brought in the country by occasional smugglers earning some money by selling animals for private use. Moscow is now a transit zone and a large market for exotic animals. The total of 195 animals were confiscated in 2015, 240 animals, in 2016, and 300 animals, just during the past months of 2017.”

The following are a few cases that have led to the institution of criminal proceedings. Each of these impressive examples provides clear illustration of the scale and diversity of wildlife trafficking in Russia.

25 Peregrine falcon eggs, broken by smugglers

Five slender lorises were smuggled out of Vietnam. Photo © Customs of Domodedovo

Seizure of snuggled reptiles and insects imported from Dubai. Photo © Customs of Domodedovo

Seizure of cargo that contained transport crates with 15 baby monkeys. Photo © Customs of Domodedovo

In addition to working across the globe training enforcement officers, working with online marketplaces to shut down trafficking sites and reducing demand, my colleagues and I often take time from our schedules to travel around the globe to bring these issues into classrooms. Through this holistic approach, IFAW is tackling wildlife trafficking and protecting the wildlife of the future.

–EZ

 

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Article source: IFAW

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