Chinese crime syndicates infiltrating Namibia?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:46 pm

Experts want Govt to talk to the Chinese

NEWS - NATIONAL | 2014-04-15
Staff Reporter

THERE are signs that Chinese crime syndicates have been infiltrating Namibia for a number of years and arming themselves with information about Namibia’s rhino population, an environment specialist claims.
In an interview with The Namibian last week, Mike Knight, chairman of the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group, an organisation reporting directly to CITES, said that the recent arrests of four Chinese nationals in possession of rhino horns are a strong indication of international crime syndicates being active in Namibia.

Knight pointed out that the involvement of “foreign Asian nationals is very worrying as it indicates the possible involvement of transnational organised crime in these poaching incidents”.

Knight added that if Chinese crime syndicates are behind the recent rhino horn smuggling, this is “troublesome” for Namibia’s government, as these international syndicates are well organised, well funded and have the “ability to adapt to changing circumstances making it difficult for national law enforcement officers to counteract”.

He added that it is critical for Namibian law enforcement to “nip this in the bud” as quickly as possible. He noted that it is important for authorities not only to arrest the perpetrators on the ground, but also to focus on the “important middlemen, the buyers and organisers that make these networks function”.

Knight added that taking the recent rhino crime incidents in Namibia into account, it is likely that the poaching incidents “were in all probability, carried out with the support from locals …”.

He said that well-funded Chinese crime syndicates do not just appear out of nowhere, so it is more than probable that they have been laying the groundwork in Namibia for some time now.

Knight pointed out that these syndicates would have focused in recent years on building networks in order to “get information on rhino populations and contacts on the ground”.

He explained that it is important for Namibia to prevent the recent poaching incidents from growing into a full-blown poaching crisis, as it did in South Africa.

Knight said Namibia’s response has to focus on “breaking or disrupting the organised criminal networks through proactive use of intelligence”.

He said that this would require diligent and well-organised co-operation between various government departments, including the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), police, customs and revenue. Furthermore, active cooperation with neighbouring countries is advisable.

He added that it is important for Namibia to engage their Chinese partners directly to spread the message that “they do not condone this illegal activity” by the Chinese nationals in Namibia.

“This is all about the awareness side of the anti-poaching activities,” Knight said.

He said it remains important to get public opinion and support to be vigilant and pool resources to make it difficult for organised crime to get their tentacles into the country’s unique rhino resources.

Furthermore, Knight said “those caught poaching must be given the maximum sentences possible to stress the abhorrence of this crime and to out the message that Namibia means business with those who want to undertake this form economic crime”.

“Namibia has an outstanding conservation record regarding the protecting and growing of its rhino population, and I would hate to see that being challenged by greedy criminals,” Knight said.

Repeated calls to the MET for a comment on the rhino situation in Namibia failed, despite several assurances that such a comment would be forthcoming.

Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:53 am


The decision to release confirmed rhino poachers in the Hwange region of Zimbabwe, after arrest, has been met with mixed reaction, after it was revealed that the decision was based on their displaying symptoms of haemorrhagic infection (Ebola virus), including fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Precautionary communication needs to be distributed internationally, in all involved with animal trade, in order to avoid a pandemic.

The official notification from the reads as follows: Ebola haemorrhagic fever is transmitted from infected animals to humans, and then from human to human. Methods of prevention of the spread of the virus include decreasing the spread of disease from infected animals to humans.
This is normally done by checking animals for infection and killing and properly disposing of the bodies if the disease is discovered.
Wearing protective clothing when handling meat and animal products is essential, as is wearing protective clothing and washing hands when in the area of carcasses or persons with the disease.
Samples of bodily fluids, tissues or any cell-containing parts like hair, horn or nails has to be handled with special caution, according to international experts.

Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people, as well. Male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via semen for nearly two months. To make the diagnosis, typically other diseases with similar symptoms such as malaria, cholera and other viral hemorrhagic fevers are first excluded.

To confirm the diagnosis, blood samples are tested for viral antibodies, viral RNA, or the virus itself. The spread of Ebola haemorrhagic fever through contact with bush meat is well documented.

Rhino poachers are generally badly educated and often illiterate, and methods used in the removal of rhino horn and other rhino body parts in the bush are not sophisticated. None of the rhino horn or products, because of their illegality, is tested for Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

Two vulnerable groups have been identified regarding the spread of Ebola through RHINO HORN AND RHINO PRODUCTS.
The first group is the poachers and handlers of the horn and products, which is most obvious. The second is a more insidiously infected grouping, namely the end users. Because no tests are carried out on the rhino products, the end users are at possibly the greatest risk, especially because of the ingestion of the rhino products.
The end users are often in Asian countries, where the threat of Ebola infection is not as vivid as in Africa, and thus end users could become unsuspecting victims. Because Ebola haemorrhagic fever is virtually unknown in Asia, the spread could be dramatic before the virus is isolated and identified.

The reality is that there is more than 200% better chance of dying from Ebola haemorrhagic fever after ingesting rhino horn or rhino products, than what there is of achieving an erection and orgasm after ingesting rhino horn or rhino products.

1 1. Wei Xu, Megan R. Edwards, Dominika M. Borek, Alicia R. Feagins, Anuradha Mittal, Joshua B. Alinger, Kayla N. Berry, Benjamin Yen, Daisy W. Leung Ebola Virus VP24 Targets a Unique NLS Binding Site on Karyopherin Alpha 5 to Selectively Compete with Nuclear Import of Phosphorylated STAT1. Cell Host & Microbe, 2014; 16 (2): 187 DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2014.07.008 On 2 April 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a communiqué published by the UN, reported that it had recorded 5 new cases of Ebola fever in Guinea.

Since January, the total number of suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola fever in the present outbreak in Guinea is 127, with 83 deaths, according to WHO, which states that 35 cases were confirmed by laboratory testing. Of these, 41 deaths were shown to be directly attributable to the handling of rhino horn products or by-products.

The initial samples were analysed in Lyon in the Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory directed by Hervé Raoul, Inserm Research Director, by the French National Reference Centre for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (attached to the Biology of Viral Emerging Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur, directed by Sylvain Baize).

A positive diagnosis was made. The population of west Africa is not nearly as dense at the populations of Asian countries. The risk involved if Ebola ever takes off in Asia warrants an early warning, irrespective of current absence of recorded cases. (ends)
21 August 2014/ English
For immediate distribution

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:03 pm

oups O-/

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:43 am

There was a lot of discussions on social media regarding the source of Ebola.

I say : Whatever. Is anybody prepared to take a chance and prove them wrong.

Aids came from animals. 0*\

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:29 pm

Brilliant! Not only does rhino poaching bring the rhinos to the brink of extinction, it also contributes to make Ebola pandemic!

:O^ :evil: 0- O/ (0!)

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:59 pm

Does this really make sense to anybody??? Maybe I've missed the connection, but wouldn't you expect to see ebola outbreaks in countries with high levels of poaching and in those with high concentrations of poachers, not to mention those overlooking the stockpiles, and communities in Southeast Asia and China, vets who work w/ rhinos, etc etc? O-/ What's the nexus between West Africa and rhino horns? Sorry to be so daft if I missed something obvious here. :-?

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:01 am

I think it's a clever "marketing" ploy to scare the poachers and end-users! ;-)

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:06 am

Shush, Flutts! :twisted:

Re: Rhino Poaching & Ebola

Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:22 am

Sorry...I meant it's a clever marketing tool to spread the word that rhino poaching and ebola go hand in hand. O**

Re: Rhino Poaching (outside SA) & Horn Trafficking

Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:40 pm

29.12.2014 - Two rhino poached in Namibia

A black rhino and her calf have been killed by poachers in the remote Damaraland area of north-western Namibia, bringing the number of rhino poached this year to 24, police said on Monday.