World's Top Dealer in Endangered Animals Snagged

Anson Wong spent years running a global network of illegal wildlife trafficking. He smuggled contraband such as Sumatran rhino horns, panda and snow leopard fur, and live endangered species across borders for those who paid premium prices.
Wong previously served five years in U.S. prison, after being nabbed by an extraordinary international undercover investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service called Operation Chameleon, considered one of the most successful in history.  [You can read about this extraordinary sting operation in last January's National Geographic, in writer Bryan Christy's story, 'The Kingpin".] But Wong's wife continued to operate the smuggling network while her husband was in prison, and Wong returned to Penang in 2003 to resume his criminal activities. "Nothing can be done to me," Wong boasted then to an undercover agent. "I could sell a panda -- and, nothing. As long as I'm here, I'm safe."

He was caught this time by an alert airline security officer [Hear! Hear!] who noticed the broken lock on his luggage, and found it to be full of 95 boa constrictors.

The good news is that traffickers are no longer safe from prosecution in Malaysia. Wong was convicted by Malaysian court this week under a new law designed to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade. Link

(Image credit: Mark Leong/National Geographic)

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Actually, the extended article said that he would only get six months since it was his first conviction in Malaysia, though not the first time he's been caught. The Malay wildlife department has failed to bring charges against him in the past. I find the six month sentence ridiculously lenient, this guy should be given at least 10 years. Not only is it wildlife trafficking, his crimes encompass animal cruelty as well.
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"Ah, back in Malaysia after 5 long years. I'm untouchable now, hahaha! No one can do anything to me even if I sell a panda! Eh? What's that? They changed the laws since I was gone? Oh Fuuuuuuu--"

Hahaha, got what he deserves. Hopefully they catch the wife too!
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