NEW YORK – Teo Boon Ching, aka Zhang, Dato Sri, and Godfather, 58 of Malaysia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to traffic hundreds of kilograms of rhinoceros horns worth millions of dollars that involved the illegal poaching of numerous rhinoceros, an endangered wildlife species. The sentence was imposed on September 19, 2023 by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty of the Southern District of New York.
Ching, who was extradited from Thailand, is the sixth large-scale wildlife trafficker sentenced in cases recently brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which also involved the extradition of multiple individuals from several countries in Africa. Ching and his associated entities were previously sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) pursuant to E.O. 13581, as amended.
“Wildlife trafficking is a serious threat to the natural resources and the ecological heritage shared by communities across the globe, enriching poachers responsible for the senseless illegal slaughter of numerous endangered rhinoceros and furthering the market for these illicit products,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “The substantial sentence shows the resolve of this Office to use every tool at our disposal to ensure the protection of endangered species.”
According to the charging and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made in court proceedings, Ching was a member of a transnational criminal conspiracy engaged in the large-scale international trafficking and smuggling of rhinoceros horns to sell to foreign buyers, including buyers represented to be in Manhattan.
Trade involving endangered or threatened species violates several U.S. laws as well as international treaties implemented by certain U.S. laws. During the course of the conspiracy and related conduct, Ching conspired to transport, distribute, sell and smuggle at least approximately 219 kilograms of rhinoceros horns resulting from the poaching of numerous rhinoceros and having an estimated value of at least approximately $2.1 million.
Read more: https://th.usembassy.gov/teo-boon-ching-sentenced-to-18-months-in-prison-for-large-scale-trafficking-of-rhinoceros-horns/