The richness and variety of contraband seized at the airport in London
• The richness and variety of contraband seized at the airport in London
Horn rhinos, turtles and carnivorous cats, rare butterflies and boxes of illegal drugs - all this and more have tried to bring to the UK illegally ... In the period from April 2012 to April 2013th British customs confiscated more illegal items than any other year.
So let's go into "bins" to look at the variety of items that unlucky smugglers tried to bring in British territory.
All these items have been confiscated by customs officers in the framework of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Endangered destruction (CITES). During the period of 2012/2013 years. 690 items were seized that 509 items more than in the previous year. Including: 3890 kg of drugs with the extracts of rare species of plants, 326 ivories and 93 live animals.
at the customs warehouse with a supported climate-controlled shelves literally groaning with confiscated items that are to be scanned CITES experts. Sometimes ivory painted black to give them for the wooden object.
An expert bitterly says: "I have nothing to surprise."
In the last two years, the volume of import of illegal items of ivory in the UK rose by almost 25 times.
In the past, 80, 7 kg of elephant tusks were seized at the border at Heathrow Airport. On they cost tens of thousands of black market. By comparison, only 3, 3 kg were seized in 2010. Most likely, this is only a small percentage of the total volume of illegally exported from Africa tusks, used to make decorations for Chinese buyers, who want to show off their wealth.
Almost four tons of drugs drugs have been found that contain extracts of rare species of plants and animals - from crushed rhino horn to rare orchids.
The smugglers carry even live animals - this month 466 of rare Balkan turtles were confiscated at Heathrow.
Among other exotic animals rescued during the year, - Geoffroy's Cat, two king vulture and Taira - the animal from the weasel family in South America.
In September, the UK Foreign Minister warned that the gains from trade illegal objects and animals amounts to 19 billion dollars worldwide, and "proceeds from this trade go to the maintenance of criminal gangs and terrorism." Although international trade in ivory was banned in 1989, customs officers continue to confiscate items from this material every year.
In total last year, British customs officials had seized more than 2, 5 million illegal items. They cost tens of millions of dollars.
One of the confiscated "items", was stuffed lovebird Fisher, who was sitting on the grenade (pictured right). Worth this "masterpiece" 8000 pounds. Senior customs Grant Miller said that the surge in demand for rare species of animals and plants caused by not selling on the British side, and the growth of wealth in China and the Far East.
"The demand is driven by human greed, in particular, consumer demand in China and the Far East. People had money that they are willing to spend, and ivory and rhino horn is a symbol of high status, which can boast. "
This can also be to blame and growth of Chinese entrepreneurs in Africa, because they had direct access to the ivory.
In general, confiscated small parcels sent by courier from Africa to Asia. They weigh less than 15 kg, but the destination never reached - at Heathrow they intercepted the representatives of the law.
"The Chinese workers in Africa regularly buy such items in order to sell them for big money home."
The volume of illicit trade in ivory are growing all over the world - only in 2011 was illegally killed 17,000 elephants. Criminals try to smuggle anything that can be valuable on the black market.
The fact that such actions could lead to the extinction of rare species, none of them do not care.
The British customs officers are known for their ability to find the illegal items. "Our customs officers are working tirelessly and constantly cooperate with the police, the National Criminal Agency and international authorities in order to stop the growth of illicit trade", - said Grant Miller.
Of particular surge in demand is observed in the field of fitness and beauty.
Previously rare species only used in traditional medicine, but now they are increasingly being used as additives in various creams and steroids. Unfortunately, the black market is evolving.
There are all new products and products for skin care, face, hair, and so on. E., For the production of which use rare species of plants and animals. Although China and Vietnam while occupy the leading position of the buyer on the black market, major cities such as London are at the center of such scandals, because it is in their airports detain smugglers.
500 kg of cream for the face, as part of which are prohibited ingredients have been found this year. Cream across Britain tried to smuggle out of China.
In May, a resident of Manchester got six months in prison for having tried to bring in 750 kilograms of corals from Vietnam. As was the case when customs officers confiscated 2, 3 tons of Indian sandalwood, is trying to move to Hong Kong.