GERMAN TOURIST FACES 10 YEARS IN US PRISON FOR SMUGGLING ENDANGERED CACTUS SEEDS

On 3rd July, Quartz carried a great article saying that the man belongs to an avid community of cactus aficionados across Europe.  He shares photos of sightings on a website focused on cacti and succulents, and keeps more than 200 cacti at home.  The cacti involved is the coryphantha robbinsorum, commonly known as the “Cochise Pincushion”, which the US Fish and Wildlife Service put the species on the endangered list in 1986.  He was arrested in June as he went to fly to Zurich.  The seeds were in package marked with a sign saying CACTUS SEEDS — NO CITES 1 or US FISH & WILDLIFE SEEDS OR PLANTS INSIDE.  The article says that plant poaching isn’t new, but it’s a growing problem in the US.  The National Park Service is now injecting GPS trackers into Arizona’s famous saguaro cacti, and wild ginseng and other protected plants considered medicinal are regularly taken.

https://qz.com/1657884/us-border-security-busts-german-smuggling-endangered-cactus-seeds/

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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