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[AUDIO] North Korea’s diplomats in Africa are making big money selling ivory to Chinese

[AUDIO] North Korea’s diplomats in Africa are making big money selling ivory to Chinese

The tightening of international sanctions against North Korea is helping to fuel the illicit ivory trade in Africa as the increasingly isolated country searches for new ways to generate revenue, according to a new report from the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. Much of that ivory, according to the report, is destined for the black market in China.

Although China announced in January that it would outlaw the domestic ivory trade, consumer demand appears to remain strong as the wholesale price for raw ivory hovers around $1,100 per kilo.

North Korea’s role in the African ivory trade is largely confined to “buying and bagging,” said Julian Rademeyer, the report’s author and an acclaimed South African environmental investigative journalist. North Korean officials, he added, are often able to easily move their illegal contraband as diplomatic cargo so it usually goes unchecked by local customs authorities.

Show Notes:

About Julian Rademeyer:

Julian Rademeyer is an award-winning South African investigative journalist, a senior research fellow with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime and is currently leading a project for TRAFFIC on protection of Africa’s wildlife and ecosystems. Julian is the author of the best-selling book, Killing for Profit – Exposing the illegal rhino horn trade. His two previous reports for the Global Initiative, “Tipping Point: Transnational organised crime and the ‘war’ on poaching” and “Beyond Borders: Crime, conservation and criminal networks in the illicit rhino horn trade” together represent one of the most current and in-depth investigations into the illicit networks enabling the desecration of the rhino species in Southern Africa.

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About Eric Olander

Eric Olander is the founder and Editor in Chief of The China Africa Project. Eric is a veteran international journalist with 20+ years experience throughout Greater China, Africa, the United States and Europe. Eric is currently based in Southeast Asia where he is the senior news executive with a leading 24-hour all business news cable TV network.