Environment Canada investigation into alleged illegal importation of African Elephant ivory leads to charges

    VANCOUVER, April 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Environment Canada has laid 4 charges
against Yuk Ming Ho of Richmond, British Columbia for alleged violations of
the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and
Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). The charges stem from an investigation
by Environment Canada's Wildlife Enforcement Division, Pacific and
Yukon Region. Mr. Ho has been given notice to appear in Richmond Provincial
Court on April 26, 2007.
    It is alleged that in March 2005, Mr. Ho unlawfully imported into Canada
African Elephant ivory which had been exported from Hong Kong without a
permit, an alleged importation violation in contravention of WAPPRITTA. Mr. Ho
also faces a charge of possession of African Elephant ivory specimens
allegedly for the purpose of distributing or offering to distribute parts of
an animal considered to be threatened with extinction.
    Controls on the international trade and movement of animal and plant
species that have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial
exploitation are set by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). More than 30,000 endangered species
of animals and plants, including African Elephants, are listed under CITES.
WAPPRIITA is the legislation by which Canada meets its obligations under
CITES. The Act and regulations rely on a permit system as assurance that trade
in CITES listed wild animal and plant specimens is legal.
    Environment Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement
of WAPPRIITA. An individual found guilty of an offence under the Act is liable
to a maximum penalty of a $150,000 fine or five years imprisonment or both.
Further information on CITES and WAPPRIITA may be found at www.cites.ec.gc.ca.

    (Egalement offert en français)

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Vitols, Regional Communications Advisor,
(604) 713-9524; Marko Goluza, Regional Enforcement Officer, (604) 666-9082

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