Terug naar het overzicht

Singapore acquits trader in world’s biggest rosewood bust, worth $50m

19 / 04 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Singapore’s highest court has acquitted a businessman who brought Malagasy rosewood valued at $50 million into the city-state. The verdict on April 8 reversed the ruling of a lower court that had sentenced him to jail time and imposed $1 million in fines for importing protected wildlife. In 2014 Singapore authorities seized nearly 30,000 rosewood logs from Wong Wee Keong and his Singapore-based company, Kong Hoo. It was one of the largest wildlife seizures in the history of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Environmental groups followed the case anxiously as it wound its way through Singapore’s courts for nearly five years, only to be disappointed by the final verdict. “It’s such a miscarriage of justice,” said Mark Roberts, a Massachusetts-based environmental lawyer and consultant who has helped coordinate international efforts to hold Kong Hoo responsible for rosewood trafficking. “And it will reduce confidence in CITES. If material is seized and then just given back to traders, that’s not going to bode well for CITES enforcement going forward.” The Singapore rosewood seizure in 2014 was the largest ever recorded. Image by Mongabay. The fate of the logs Lawyers affiliated with Malagasy and international environmental groups are scrambling for a last-minute solution as the defendants prepare to retake control of the 30,000 rosewood logs. The Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court, ordered Singapore authorities to return the rosewood to Wong and his firm “as soon as practicable” in the latest ruling. This…

Naar artikel