Teo Boon Ching, one of the largest wildlife traffickers operating across the world, has been convicted of wildlife trafficking in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment.
“This is a good day for justice, for wildlife and for law enforcement efforts in fighting wildlife crime. Teo Boon Ching’s conviction in the United States sends a strong message that wildlife crime will no longer be tolerated. Thanks to the Lacey Act, the long arm of justice can reach criminal networks all around the world. Congratulations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on their fantastic work in arresting Teo Boon Ching following a lengthy and successful investigation. Disrupting networks is most efficient when the most impactful offenders that pose the greatest threat to vulnerable species are targeted by law enforcement and the arrest of Teo Boon Ching is a great example.”, said Olivia Swaak-Goldman, the Wildlife Justice Commission’s Executive Director.
Ching was charged with participating in a conspiracy to traffic in more than 70 kilograms of rhino horns that involved the illegal poaching of numerous rhinos, an endangered wildlife species. In addition, Ching was charged with laundering the proceeds of his illegal rhinoceros horn sales.
Ching was arrested by the Royal Thai Police in Thailand on 29 June 2022, at the request of the United States, and was extradited to the United States on 7 October 2022.
Ching is considered the leader of a major organised crime group based in Asia and served as the Asian connection for the notorious Kromah network. His arrest and imprisonment has significantly disrupted the illegal wildlife trade.