Man selling monkey heads on eBay sentenced, supplier in Indonesia arrested

On January 11, a 63 year-old illegal wildlife trader, George Bush of London, U.K., was sentenced to 14 months in prison (suspended for two years) for offering to sell body parts of endangered wildlife species online through the e-commerce website, eBay.

Bush pleaded guilty to offering to sell two leopard cat skulls, 134 specimens of primate parts (including hands) belonging to Trachypitchecus, Chlorocebus aethiops, Macaca Fascicularis and Macaque species, four monkey heads belonging to Trachypitchecus species, and a skeleton of an infant crab-eating macaque (Macaque Fascicularis), according to London Metropolitan Police Service’s Wildlife Crime Unit. Bush also pleaded guilty to possession of 71 sexual images involving animals, for which he was jailed for four months to be served consecutively.

Following information from the U.K. Border Force that Bush was selling body parts of protected species imported from Indonesia, London Metropolitan Police arrested him in January 2014.

“I would urge anyone who sees specimens from protected wildlife for sale to contact police,” Detective Constable Sarah Bailey, of the London Metropolitan Police Service’s Wildlife Crime Unit, said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that anyone in London who is trading illegally in endangered animal parts is stopped.”

Bush was offering to sell hands and heads of various monkey species protected by law. Photo courtesy of London Metropolitan Police.
Bush was offering to sell hands and heads of various monkey species protected by law. Photo courtesy of London Metropolitan Police.

After Bush was arrested, United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UKNCA) and Interpol alerted Indonesian police, who then arrested a wildlife trader in Indonesia who had been illegally supplying Bush with wildlife parts and products. The police, together with the BKSDA (Natural Resource Conservation Agency) in East Java, confiscated 315 kingfisher skeletons, peafowl feathers, deer and mouse deer skulls, stuffed marine turtles, up to 30 protected butterflies and 15 shipping invoices from this trader, according to a statement by WCS.

“As the variety of species involved in this case shows, the illegal movement of endangered wildlife is part of an illicit and often cruel trade that Border Force, together with our partners in the UK and internationally, is determined to stop,” Grant Miller, Border Force CITES lead, said.

Transnational collaboration was key to the arrest of both illegal wildlife traders, and the conviction, and sentencing of Bush, WCS notes.

“This case is an excellent example of the Indonesian and British police forces working together to tackle transboundary illegal wildlife trade and protecting Indonesia’s threatened wildlife,” Noviar Andayani, Country Director of WCS Indonesia Program, said in the statement. “We also appreciate the efforts of Interpol in identifying the Indonesian suppliers of the wildlife specimens.”

This article originally appeared on environmental news website Mongabay. Read the original article here.

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