US Dismantles International Crime Ring That Trafficked in Shark Fins

“Law enforcement agents documented the harvest of more than six tons of shark fins, officials said.”

“Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in some countries, has long fueled demand for illegally harvested fins. But federal authorities in Georgia announced this week that they had dismantled at least one source for the ingredient: a multimillion-dollar organization they described as an international money laundering, drug trafficking and illegal wildlife trade ring.

A dozen people, including Terry Xing Zhao Wu, 45, of Burlingame, Calif., and two businesses on opposite ends of the country face multiple charges, including fraud and money laundering, for their roles in what the authorities called the “Wu transnational criminal organization,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said in a statement on Thursday.

“United with our partner agencies, we have shut down an operation that fed a seemingly insatiable overseas appetite for illegally traded wildlife, and seized ill-gotten assets derived from that despicable criminal enterprise,” Bobby L. Christine, the U.S. attorney for the district, said in the statement.”

Aimee Ortiz reports for the New York Times September 4, 2020.

SEE ALSO:

“New Paper Highlights Spread Of Organized Crime From Global Fisheries” (Mongabay)

“The Human Impact Of Organized Crime In Fisheries Extends Far Beyond The Ocean” (World Resources Institute)