Environment Canada

Environment Canada

July 14, 2010 18:12 ET

Commercial Wholesalers Charged for Allegedly Illegally Importing Protected Goods Into Canada

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) - On May 25, 2010, Environment Canada's Wildlife Enforcement Directorate laid 18 charges under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) against two Vancouver commercial wholesalers of traditional Asian medicinal products, as well as an alleged affiliate of these companies. The charges follow an intensive year-long investigation. Environment Canada is the lead agency responsible for implementing the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) in Canada.

Gibo Health Food Ltd. faces one count under WAPPRIITA for allegedly importing derivatives of a CITES-listed species of tree fern (Cibotium barometz) without a permit. The company faces another five counts under WAPPRIITA for allegedly possessing CITES-listed animal derivatives that were illegally imported, including African elephant (Elephantidae), monkey (Primates), bear (Ursidae) and crocodile (Crocodyllians). Sun 2006 Import and Export Ltd. faces three counts under WAPPRIITA for allegedly importing derivatives of three different CITES-listed orchid species (Dendrobium, Gastrodia and Bletilla) without a permit. Yuk Chiu Chan, an alleged affiliate of both companies, faces all of the above charges as a co-accused. The total retail value for these illegally imported goods is estimated to be approximately $400,000.

Under Canadian law, those charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A first appearance has been set in Vancouver Provincial Court for Yuk Chiu Chan, along with Gibo Health Food Ltd. and Sun 2006 Import and Export Ltd. for July 14, 2010.

CITES consists of 175 member parties, which accord varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, as well as their parts and derivatives, to ensure that international trade in these species does not threaten their survival. CITES sets control, through a permit system on the international trade and movement of listed animal and plant species deemed to be endangered, or threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation. Canada has been a member party to CITES since its inception in 1975.

(Également offert en français)

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