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US convicts Chinese rhino horn smuggler: Sends warning to horn trade

December 21, 2013
Zhifei Li, the owner of an antique business in China and a Chinese national, has been convicted in a US Federal court of 11 criminal counts: one count of conspiracy to smuggle and violate the Lacey Act; seven counts of smuggling; one count of illegal wildlife trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act; and two counts of making false wildlife documents.  The photo which was a federal plea agreement document  exhibit in the trial shows defendant Li buying raw rhino horns from covert federal agent with cash on the table at a Miami Beach hotel.  Photo from an article by Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger on NJ.com

Zhifei Li, the owner of an antique business in China and a Chinese national, has been convicted in a US Federal court of 11 criminal counts: one count of conspiracy to smuggle and violate the Lacey Act; seven counts of smuggling; one count of illegal wildlife trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act; and two counts of making false wildlife documents. The photo which was a federal plea agreement document exhibit in the trial shows defendant Li buying raw rhino horns from covert federal agent with cash on the table at a Miami Beach hotel.
Photo from an article by Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger on NJ.com

A US attourney says a Chinese national convicted for smuggling rhinoceros horns and numerous objects made from rhino horns and elephant tusks from the United States to China is “at the top” of wildlife smugglers prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says the conviction of Zhifei Li of Shandong China, would serve as a major warning to other wildlife smugglers and traffickers, NJ.com reported 

 Zhifei Li, who owns  Overseas Treasure Finding Shndong in China,  pleaded guilty to a  far-reaching and longstanding smuggling operation in a US federal court in Newark.

After the hearing,  and officials in Washington said the arrest and conviction of Li was “one of the most significant prosecutions” ever done in the wildlife smuggling arena. 

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/12/post_17.html

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/major_rhino_horn_smuggler_pleads_guilty_in_newark_officials_cite_unprecendented_levels_of_rhino_poac.html

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