Working Groups


BAVIN WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARDS
RECIPIENTS FOR 2004
Article on the 2004 Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards
(download PDF file here - 329kb)


Pol. Maj. Gen. Sawaeke Pinsinchai
Commander of Forestry Police Division, Royal Thai Police, Thailand

The Major General is responsible for leading the series of raids across Thailand targeting illegal wildlife dealers and those illegally engaged in captive breeding of endangered species such as tigers and orangutans. The high profile raids in late 2003 illustrated the value of sustained and well-orchestrated operations led by committed individuals. In one raid, a team of forestry police officers under Maj. Gen. Sawaeke Pinsinchai's leadership, entered a house on the outskirts of Bangkok and discovered tiger carcasses quartered and on ice, 21 bear paws, severed at the joints, six starving tigers, five live bears, and four baby orangutans, one of which died because of the horrendous conditions. Sawaeke's team also raided an open market, and seized more than 1,000 protected birds in one day, and a couple of private zoos, where they found 70 unregistered orangutans. The illegal trade in wildlife in Thailand has suffered a serious blow as a result of this seasoned police officer's actions. He has taken on powerful businessmen and not faltered, his courage and determination deserve recognition.

The Anti-Smuggling Bureau, Chinese Customs Administration

In October 2003, the largest ever haul of tiger and leopard skins took place in the Tibet Autonomous Region. A total of 31 tiger skins, 581 leopard skins and 778 otter skins were recovered from a single truck and three people were arrested. A temporary inspection point west of Lhasa made the seizure, but officers from Lhasa Customs Anti-smuggling Bureau, treating the matter as a priority, undertook an extensive investigation to find out more about the trade. Their efforts were critical in determining that the skins came from India and a greater understanding of how the trade works has resulted from their investigation. The China Customs Administration is pursuing this case through the courts.

Mr. Chey Yuthearith
Director of Bokor National Park in Cambodia

Mr. Yuthearith has been working effectively to implement the Bokor Conservation Project (BCP) in Cambodia. More recently he has assumed extra duties as the Coordinator at the National Protected Areas Training Center, also located at Bokor National Park. The Park has now become a model protection project for Cambodia and is now being emulated in three further Cambodian protected areas. In the line of duty he has received numerous threats against his life and has been the target of gunfire. Several of his staff have had hand-grenades thrown at them and have suffered injuries as a result. Working in conservation in Cambodia can be dangerous to say the least and as a representative of the staff of the Ministry of Environment and a judicial law enforcement officer he is a shining example of what a dedicated and honest official can achieve.

Ms. Sheila Einsweiler
Division of Law Enforcement, United States Fish and Wildlife Service

During her 16 years of service with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Ms. Einsweiler has supported U.S. and global efforts to combat the unlawful commercial exploitation of wildlife. Ms. Einsweiler was a key player in preparing the Office of Law Enforcement to implement new restrictions on caviar trade and ensuring that the Service met the challenge of monitoring this previously unregulated but high-volume, high-value industry. As co-chair of the trade subgroup of the Presidentially-created U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, she directed an inter-agency effort to analyze U.S. trade data for corals, giant clams, and other reef species that promises enhanced safeguards for these increasingly imperiled resources. Her testimony as an expert witness on wildlife trade helped Federal prosecutors win convictions in a number of high profile cases, including the Nation's first successful felony prosecution for coral trafficking. She has analyzed and identified numerous improvements for the wildlife inspection program and has helped make the Service the instructor of choice for other countries that want to improve wildlife trade monitoring. Her contributions in the training arena have benefited enforcement officers and wildlife conservation efforts in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Mr. Thanit Palasuwan
Forestry Official 5, Thailand Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Since 1997, Mr. Palasuwan has been involved in 268 illegal wildlife trade cases involving over 9,000 birds, 12,000 reptiles, and 125 mammals. He has been involved in making arrests for the illegal wild orchid trade and identifying wild orchid products as part of prosecutions. He is a Wildlife Law Instructor who has organized exhibits on wildlife. As liaison between conservation organizations and government agencies, he attended workshops on trade in terrestrial and freshwater turtles and tortoises in Cambodia, Wildlife Law Enforcement Training for tiger range States in India in 2002, and Wildlife Crime Investigations in Bangkok in 2002.
Corporal Huka Umuro Kuri, Kenya Wildlife Service

Corporal Kuri was recruited into the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1990 and since then has played a key role in security operations in Meru National Park, Tsavo East and Tsavo West as well as non-protected areas nationwide.Corporal Kuri is a fearless section commander who has led men under his command to various successful operations. In April 2002, for instance, he was asked to pursue a gang of four heavily armed poachers who had massacred ten elephants at Mfupa Ndovu in Tsavo National Park. Although the gang of armed Somali militia men employed superior firepower , his unit engaged them in a fierce fight and managed to overpower them. He recovered a G3 rifle, an ammunition magazine, 117 rounds of ammunition, one rifle propelled grenade, and eighteen elephant tusks. According to the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, it was due to "his bravery and effective command that the poachers were neutralized.


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