Wildlife crime is a serious international problem. Australia, rich in varied wildlife, is a target for wildlife traffickers. The Australian government recently deported a Malaysian reptile trafficker after the individual served time in an Australian prison.
The Malaysian reptile trafficker was charged with attempting to export “21 parcels containing Shingleback lizards, Blue-tongue lizards, Geckos, Lace Monitors, Pythons and Water Dragons,” according to a news release from Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment (DAWE). The parcels were intended for Hong Kong.
The perpetrator was found guilty of nine counts of attempting to export regulated native specimens out of Australia, sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment, and paroled after two years and four months.
DAWE has worked with Interpol and various Australian law enforcement agencies to track down wildlife traffickers through several investigations, resulting in eleven perpetrators having been sentenced to nearly twenty-seven years in jail for their crimes.
Exporting Australian wildlife is an offense with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for ten years and/or a $222,000 fine for individuals—for each count—or a $1,110,000 fine for a corporation.