I do not know much about de Vogel. I know that a few years ago, some staff at the Leiden Botanical Gardens used the collect permit and CITES for research to supply the trade in rare PNG species, and went busted.This is a good insight provided by ROTH (Xavier) as well as all the posts from Guido Braem. CITES confiscated then killed all the plants. All in the name of "conservation". To be fair to Cribb and de Vogel, I like to see both of them send in their posts here with justification of their actions.
Xavier, why are the stories now classified??
For classified, that's easy.
I was an officer in many of those cases, when the people choose not to go to the court - that's about 3/4 of them in wildlife cases for EU, if not more - they are offered to pay a fine by the law, and the case is closed. Very rarely I have seen a case going to the court (even the final part of Popow case, they made a settlement with the court, Popow could not prove he was right, the court knew that they could not prove they were right, the possible evidences/plants were all dead, so no expert could see them, it started to smell shitty, so they decided to close the case against a fine).
There is one case still pending in Germany against another orchid grower, that promise to be interesting. The orchidist wants... his plants back, but they died in custody. Government offered him money, but he refused, stating that then he wants the government to replace the PLANTS. They know that legally they cannot get those plants, so that was a deep ****. Have not heard about that for about 2 years, but promised to be interesting.
On the other side, for the public, the case never happened if there is an agreement between the parties, that's the law, and it is forbidden to comment or give the name of the people involved. In some other countries, even if the case went to the court, after some years, 5-10-20 depending on the case, the circumstances, etc... it is forbidden to mention, and the records of convicted people are blanked.
Now, from what I learned hard core as an official, many societies that are involved in 'conservation or protection' are attracted like flies by a ****. They hunt the money, and make a good business. I know the salaries of some of Greenpeace and WWF workers, well... it is not benevolent, to say the least. Whenever the customs in France would seize something, WWF France would appear and try to get money at the court for the 'immense damage done to wildlife'. We turned them down each time because:
- First WWF France NEVER did anything to protect species.
- Second, between crazy travels, outrageous expenses and high salaries ( we are talking about salaries in the 100.000 euros/year and way more, jobs granted through friendship, with salaries roughly 10x the normal salary according to the experience and diplomas, and I know VERY well what I am talking about.), there is not much left for any project, believe me. I know that first hand.
- Third we tried some join operation with WWF France experts, they were so close to some the smugglers that they would warn them before the raids... WWF had politic support too, so they have been granted access to the Customs database and facilities, which was the worst mistake ever done.