Orchid scheme nipped in bud

Discussion in 'Non-Slipper Orchid Discussion' started by gonewild, Nov 2, 2015.

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  1. Nov 2, 2015 #1
  2. Nov 2, 2015 #2

    cattmad

    cattmad

    cattmad

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    Can't read it
     
  3. Nov 2, 2015 #3

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    Been there. It sucks that Australian orchids are near impossible to get. It will probably lead to the loss of some species as human population growth destroys natural habitats.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2015 #4

    gonewild

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    Copied from link....


    Orchid scheme nipped in bud

    Los Angeles Times31 Oct 2015By Brittny Mejia

    U. S. District Attorney
    VICTOR MANUEL ARIAS CUCHO pleaded guilty in connection with 200- plus protected orchids found inside his luggage — including a Lego box — at LAX.

    Victor Manuel Arias Cucho had packed the necessities for his trip last month from Australia to Peru, including a My Pillow Pets plush toy and a Lego box.

    But what really mattered was whatwas inside of them — more than 200 protected orchids, in violation of an international wildlife treaty.

    During a layover at Los Angeles International Airport, federal authorities nipped Cucho’s scheme in the bud.

    Cucho pleaded guilty in U. S. District Court on Wednesday to a federal offense of illegal trade in a protected species. The Peruvian national, aware that he couldn’t bring the orchids into the United States or Peru without proper docu--

    mentation, concealed them in his luggage, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’ s office.

    The orchid plants were hidden inside a bee- shaped pillow, aswell as a tissue box, a Lego Ninjago box and a plastic tube that stores posters, said Asst. U.S. Atty. Dennis Mitchell of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.

    “When someone is trying to conceal something, they obviously know they’re doing something that is prohibited,” he said.

    Cucho had been flying from Australia — after attending an orchid trade show in Sydney— to Peru on Sept. 24, when he had the layover at LAX. There, Cucho submitted a customs declaration, in which he denied carrying any plants.

    He was then sent by customs authorities to a secondary agricultural inspection, and that’s where his illicit cargo was discovered. The orchids are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

    The case against Cucho is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Custom sand Border Protection first uncovered the orchids in the luggage.

    LAX is no stranger to wildlife smuggling. Turtles have been hidden in snack food boxes, live lizards concealed in a belt and a live monkey was found inside of a duffel bag, said Jaime Ruiz, a customs spokesman.

    “What was really how the orchids were concealed,” Ruiz added, ticking off the additional items that Cucho had used. The orchid plants were also in a tool box, a laptop case and plastic bottles. “People go to great lengths to circumvent U. S. law.”

    In a 2011incident during a routine pat- down, Transportation Security Administration agents found bright yellow birds stuffed in socks and taped to thearmand leg of a traveler heading to China. The passenger was arrested by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers on suspicion of smuggling goods and exporting an endangered species.

    “It’s a wild, wildworld out there,” Ruiz said with a laugh. “We’ve seen it all at LAX.”

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson sentenced Cucho to two years’ probation and ordered him to pay a $ 7,500 fine.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2015 #5

    gonewild

    gonewild

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    There was a tool that allowed the article to be copied so I did..
     
  6. Nov 2, 2015 #6

    trdyl

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    And another smuggler gets caught.....
     
  7. Nov 2, 2015 #7

    ronan

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    an other orchids trader tried to make his business...

    looking at the table it seems not to be wild collected birds, snakes, tortles or whatever they compare to in the newspaper, and it even don't looks like wild orchids.
    He played, he lost...that's the rules he followed.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2015 #8

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    You are correct. As usual the media is "over-playing" the facts.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2015 #9

    troy

    troy

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    no hatred!!
    They should chop his hands off
     
  10. Nov 2, 2015 #10

    Ssapha

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    What actually happens to confiscated, endangered plants? Do they destroy them or pass them on to botanical gardens or experts to try and save the plants? It would be sad if they where just destroyed ...

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  11. Nov 2, 2015 #11

    TyroneGenade

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    I was expecting to see pictures of Australian native orchids but those look a lot like Masdevallias... Pretty dumb to get bust smuggling plants that could have been obtained legally and cheaply.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2015 #12

    gonewild

    gonewild

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    It seems he was taking them back to Peru with him from Australia. It's not easy to legally import orchids into Peru and good hybrids are in demand in Peru regardless of genera and they are not cheap.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2015 #13

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    That seems a little ridiculous!
    I can speak from experience about confiscated plants. They burn them. I think he was trying to get them into production in South America. If it had worked it would have been great for us as there is free trade into US from Peru. As it is it is almost impossible to get Australian orchids out of Aus, and hard to get plant into Peru (and almost all other South American countries). :eek:
     
  14. Nov 2, 2015 #14

    gonewild

    gonewild

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    They may not burn them. Since USFW and Customs seized them as "wildlife" being smuggled they may be obligated by law to place the plants in a rescue center to assure their well being. If USDA had seized them for not having a phyto cert then USDA for sure would burn them. In any case the plants will likely die or vanish.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2015 #15

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    Hmmm. That would be a good follow-up story, but I bet a year from now they will be dead!
     
  16. Nov 2, 2015 #16

    Linus_Cello

    Linus_Cello

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    I thought some plants go to rescue centers. Didn't Antec (Ladyslipper.com) get some vietnamense that were illegally smuggled?
     
  17. Nov 2, 2015 #17

    gonewild

    gonewild

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    It probably depends on the status of the plants. CITES plants probably would go to a rescue center since they are threatened or endangered. BUT remember artifically propagate orchids are exempt from CITES so the government may not be obligated to rescue them. Regardless if they dont want to bother with rescue all they need to do is find a pest and that requires burning whether they are endangered species or not.

    There is an interesting paragraph in the document below pertaining to the care of the seized plants. Seems they are more worried about what the jury thinks than the life of the plants.

    USFW Wildlife Trafficing Bullitin

    (on page 61)
    When seizures are contemplated, whether for forfeiture or for evidentiary purposes, it is wise to plan ahead for the storage and proper care and handling of the plants, particularly if they are living
    specimens. In addition to the biological importance of these living specimens, there is nothing worse than having to explain to a jury that the endangered plants the agency seized in good health from the defendant have perished in the custody of the Government. The cost of such care and storage can be paid from what has been called the “Lacey Act reward account” established pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 1540(d) (providing for the use of penalties, fines, or forfeitures under the ESA to pay rewards and the costs of caring for, among other things, plants pending the disposition of criminal cases).
     
  18. Nov 2, 2015 #18

    Hien

    Hien

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    I agree with you and Tyrone, and Ronan, I keep looking at the photo , and did not find anything even look a little bitsy itsy wildly wild . look greenhouse grown to me
    And they did not look like Australian orchids that I saw on AOS magazine and orchids' books (in fact they look like some Masd). . So
    1) did he just bring back to his country what he brought to Australia to sell ?
    2) did he buy Australian orchids? and if he bought at the Australian sale booths at the show, why should he get penalty ? had he been an Australian who live in Australia and buying these same orchids , do they get penalties ?
    3) he should just box them and ship his orchids normally .. why the stuffing into toy bee pillow ? it does make one looks guilty though .
    4) the two countries at the two ends (Australia & Peru) suppose to be the ones who should stop him either to bring the orchid out or in , he only transits through the US he does not smuggle the plants into US or to sell in the US so why do we punish him ?
     
  19. Nov 2, 2015 #19

    troy

    troy

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    no hatred!!
    Maybe the u.s. officials will execute his family, while he is punished here?
     
  20. Nov 2, 2015 #20

    Hien

    Hien

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    ha ha , sounds like the plot for the series "24"
     

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