Friday, July 27, 2007

scientist jailed for smuggling more than 100... orchids into Britain

scientist jailed for smuggling more than 100... orchids into Britain hasbeen ordered to pay up more than ?100,000.
Pharmaceutical researcher... Sian Lim, 33, was caught smuggling...species... into Britain from his native Malaysia....Amongst the flowers [orchids]... one species that only grows in smallnumbers in a remote area of a national park in Sarawak in Malaysia....Six of the flowers [species]... are on the brink of extinction and can onlybe found on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo.
Two of the flowers [species] were... discovered in 1997 in the remoteIndonesian island of Sulawesi and are believed to be extinct because ofillegal collection...
126 specimens seized from... Lim fall into the CITES' "Category A"... theyare banned from all trade.
... Lim grows rare orchids in two greenhouses in the garden of his home inPutney, south west London, and exhibits at international shows.
He admitted 13 charges of smuggling rare orchids into Heathrow Airportalthough he claimed it was not for commercial gain.
... The orchids found by customs officers in Lim's luggage at Heathrow whenhe flew in from Malaysia on June 2nd, 2004...
Lim was jailed for four months in January last year at Isleworth Crown Court.
He was ordered to pay ?110,331 - the proceeds of his trade - when hereturned to court. He was also ordered to pay ?15,000 in costs, includingtowards research by experts at Kew Gardens.
If the money is not paid he will have to serve a further three year prisonsentence"

Steve Peralta

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