Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Republic of Madagascar paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Justice, revealing that there were discussions to expand the prosecution of transnational organized wildlife crime, conducting wildlife trafficking

published: 7/6/2567 9:06:44 updated: 10/6/2567 13:52:23 239 views   TH
 


On Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 1:30 PM, Police Colonel Tawee Sodsong, the Minister of Justice, welcomed Mr. Max Andonirina Fontaine, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Republic of Madagascar, who paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Justice at the reception room, 3rd floor, Ministry of Justice building. The event was attended by Police Lieutenant Colonel Amorn Hongsritong, Director of Natural Resources and Environment Crime Bureau, Mr. Udomkaan Warotamasikkhadit, Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime Bureau, Mr. Teerat Limpayaraya, Provincial Public Prosecutor attached to the Office of the Attorney General, and officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

In addition to paying a courtesy call to the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Madagascar discussed future cooperation with the Minister of Justice on the issue of the justice process in order to expand the prosecution of transnational organized wildlife crime, conducting wildlife trafficking from the Republic of Madagascar. In this case, the DSI, through the Natural Resources and Environment Crime Bureau, has accepted the case for investigation under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2562 (2019). This case involved integrating intelligence and conducting a joint investigation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Royal Thai Police was also coordinated to expand the investigation, resulting in the arrest of a key Thai wildlife trafficker and his accomplices on May 1, 2024, seizing 1,076 radiated tortoises and 48 lemurs, which are native wildlife of the Republic of Madagascar. This is considered a significant arrest and the largest seizure of wildlife trafficked internationally from the Republic of Madagascar ever made. It is a serious threat to biodiversity and environmental heritage, as these animals are valuable native species of the Republic of Madagascar and are listed as critically endangered on CITES Appendix I, which prohibits import and export. This has caused immeasurable damage and impact.

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Madagascar has requested the Ministry of Justice to take decisive action by expanding the investigation and prosecution of a key Thai wildlife trafficker, his accomplices, and all related wildlife trafficking networks. He also intended for this cooperation to initiate the development of a collaborative effort to combat transnational wildlife trafficking between Thailand's Ministry of Justice and Madagascar's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, with support from the USFWS, the WJC, and the UNODC, to enhance the effectiveness of anti-transnational wildlife trafficking efforts. The Minister of Justice stated that the Thai government is ready to cooperate in the prosecution, and has instructed the DSI to expand the investigation into the networks smuggling wildlife into Thailand. This will require coordination with the Office of the Attorney General. The Minister of Justice also stated that Thailand will cooperate in returning the trafficked wildlife back to the Republic of Madagascar.


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