Tuesday, 21 May 2013

$1 million dollar plus fine and 42 months in jail for smuggling rhino horn

Wildlife agents seize hoard of cash, jewellery, gold and rhino horn from defendants
May 2013.

Vinh Chuong "Jimmy" Kha, 50, and Felix Kha 26, were sentenced in Los Angeles to serve 42 and 46 months, respectively, in prison for crimes related to illegal international trafficking of rhinoceros horn.

$1 million plus fine
In addition to the prison sentences, the two defendants were ordered to pay a total of $20,000 in criminal fines and pay a $185,000 tax fraud penalty and assessment. In addition, Jimmy Kha's Win Lee Corporation was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. Jimmy and Felix Kha, along with Win Lee Corporation, were also ordered to pay a total of $800,000 in restitution to the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, a statutorily created fund that is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to support international efforts to protect and conserve rhinos and other critically endangered species around the world. The defendants previously abandoned their portion of interest in $2 million worth of rhino parts and vehicles seized in the investigation.

The Khas are among several individuals charged so far with federal crimes as a result of "Operation Crash," an ongoing FWS-led investigation of the black market rhino horn trade named for the term used to describe a herd of rhinoceros.

"The Khas engaged in egregious criminal conduct by taking the horns of a species on the brink of extinction and making millions of dollars in the illegal trade in rhino horns," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "The Khas sentence sends a strong message that those who violate the law by illegally trading in rhino horns will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."


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