8 Charged in Scheme to Smuggle Endangered Monkeys From Asia, U.S. Says

Cambodian wildlife officials, black-market dealers and top executives at a monkey breeding company conspired to illegally export long-tailed macaques to the U.S., prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors have charged eight people with running an international monkey-smuggling operation in which hundreds of the endangered primates were poached from the wild in Southeast Asia and shipped to the U.S. for research purposes, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Two of those charged, Omaliss Keo, 58, and Masphal Kry, 46, were Cambodian wildlife officials who federal prosecutors said betrayed their duty to protect endangered species. Instead, the officials took payments from conspirators to facilitate the scheme, which centered on long-tailed macaques, also known as crab-eating macaques, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida.

The long-tailed macaques, petite primates with pinkish-brown faces that live near water and wetlands in Southeast Asia, are protected by international trade law. A permit is required to bring them into the U.S., where they are often used for biomedical and pharmaceutical research.

In full: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/16/us/cambodia-monkey-smuggling-ring.html

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