PSNI investigate trade of rare endangered plants

Some of the rare endangered plants which have been uncovered by the PSNI and the National Wildlife Crime Unit

Police in Ards have been working with the National Wildlife Crime Unit as part of an investigation into trade of rare endangered plants.

Inspector Jonathan Francey said: “A few months ago, we conducted a number of searches in the Comber area in relation the trade of rare endangered plants.

Some of the rare endangered plants which have been uncovered by the PSNI and the National Wildlife Crime Unit

“We were accompanied by a colleague from the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Our enquiries have been ongoing since then.

“As a result of these searches a rare Nepenthes Rajah seedlings were recovered.

“These are exotic, rare and endangered species protected the by Convention on International Trade in Endangered species (CITES).

“These plants are indigenous to only two mountains in Malaysian Borneo. Subsequently one male received an adult caution for being concerned in Trade of Endangered Species.

“Not only did this investigation involve liaising with the National Wildlife Crime Unit but Malaysian authorities also.

“This is the first case of its type in Northern Ireland. Police have a duty with uphold the Convention which is an agreed worldwide partnership.”

Alan Roberts, from the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “This is an important case. There is a lot of focus on the more iconic animals in trade but some plants are just as endangered and when they have been taken from the wild can disappear completely.

“Unless enforcement action is taken where offences are discovered we will continue to lose some remarkable species. I am pleased to see that the PSNI recognised this and took appropriate action.”

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