Prince William issues emotional statement against ‘insidious crime’ after historic triumph | royal | New

A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to 63 months in prison in the US for conspiracy to traffic in horns and ivory worth over $7m (£5.9m ) acquired through the illegal poaching of 35 rhinos and 100 elephants. Prince William, founder of United for Wildlife, which aims to prevent traffickers from transporting, funding or profiting from illegal wildlife products, released a statement following the ruling.

He hailed the “coordinated international response” against the fight against the illegal wildlife trade, describing the decision as a “significant victory and a historic affair”.

William insisted it is further proof that tools are available to “combat this insidious crime and is testament to the power of international collaboration”.

The Duke of Cambridge said: “Today’s sentencing shows what is possible when a coordinated international response is implemented against the illegal wildlife trade, and why it is essential.

“This is an important victory and a landmark affair.

“For more than a decade, its complexity has been expertly managed by a global alliance of international law enforcement agencies, governments, NGOs and private sector organizations, including a number of brilliant United for Wildlife Partners.

“This is further proof that we have the tools to fight this insidious crime and speaks to the power of international collaboration.

“I want to commend everyone involved for their meticulous planning and determination to pursue justice.

“Thanks to their perseverance, hundreds of endangered animals and the communities that live alongside them have been protected, sending the strongest possible message that together we can defeat the illegal wildlife trade.”

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U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “Protecting endangered wildlife and natural resources remains a critical and important priority for my office.

“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those responsible for decimating the world’s populations of endangered and threatened animals protected by international agreements will face grave consequences.

“This case also illustrates our commitment, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration, to work with our international partners to arrest and bring to justice in U.S. court those who commit these serious crimes abroad. “

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