‘Groenewald gang’ trial postponed

Alleged rhino horn trafficking syndicate boss Dawie Groenewald. Photo: Julian Rademeyer

By Julian Rademeyer The trial of Dawie Groenewald, a notorious South African game farmer and alleged “rhino horn syndicate kingpin”, was expected to begin today in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria. It has been nearly four years since various suspects linked to the so-called “Groenewald gang” were arrested in highly-publicised police raids.  Instead the case […]

Black market ivory: N’bouke jailed

By Julian Rademeyer Emile N’bouke – the ivory carver and shopkeeper referred to as “The Boss” or “Le Patron” by illegal ivory dealers in Togo’s capital Lomé –  has been jailed for 15 months and ordered to pay a fine of US$10,300. The maximum prison sentence allowed for under Togolose law for ivory trafficking  is […]

The untouchable wildlife crime kingpin

Wildlife crime kingpin Vixay Keosavang (left) and his lieutenant Chumlong Lemtongthai (right).

By Julian Rademeyer Vixay Keosavang is one of the most ruthless and prolific wildlife criminals operating in South-East Asia today. Some call him the “Pablo Escobar of animal trafficking”. Others describe him as the “Mr Big” of wildlife crime in Laos, the tiny one-party communist state bordered by Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam that continues […]

Apocalypse Rhinoceros

Punpitak Chunchom, a member of a Laos-based wildlife smuggling syndicate poses with rhino horns taken in pseudo-hunts.

By Julian Rademeyer It is a sound you never forget. Perhaps because it is so unexpected in an animal weighing two tons: a piercing, unearthly keen, like a child crying out in pain. It is hard to describe and even harder to endure. The first time I heard it, I was in a cramped office […]

US$1-million bounty for wildlife crime syndicate exposed in Killing for Profit

The former headquarters of the Xaysavang Trading Export-Import company in Paksan Laos. Photo: Julian Rademeyer

By Julian Rademeyer The United States government has announced a $1-million reward for information “leading to the dismantling” of a key wildlife crime network exposed in Killing for Profit. It is the first reward of its kind ever offered by the US government. In a statement issued on 13 November 2013, US Secretary of State […]

Podcast: The wildlife trafficking underworld

Julian Rademeyer, the author of Killing for Profit: Exposing the illegal rhino horn trade, discusses the links between wildlife trafficking, organised crime and terrorism with Talk Radio 702′s Jenny Crwys-Williams. Tweet

IRIN Africa: Environmental crimes increasingly linked to violence, insecurity

NEW YORK, 3 October 2013 (IRIN) – Organized environmental crime is known to pose a multi-layered threat to human security, yet it has long been treated as a low priority by law enforcers, seen as a fluffy “green” issue that belongs in the domain of environmentalists. But due to a variety of factors – including […]