German botanical smugglers caught in Sinharaja

6 January 2016 09:44 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A theft of spores from rare and protected plant species growing in Sinharaja Forest, a world heritage site and the only primary rain forest in Sri Lanka, was uncovered recently by Wildlife Officers attached to the forest reserve.

Three Germans identified as --Kaus Peter, Leander Valerius and Sarah Kaufmann and an accomplice known to have been regular visitors to the forest reserve were arrested after envelopes containing the spores of some rare plants were found in their possession.

A wildlife officer said the Germans had admitted that they were planning to smuggle the spores to labs abroad to propagate the plantsfor the manufacture of medicinal drugs.

The guide who was with the Germans is said to have alerted another guide who had in turn informed the wildlife officers about the plant thieves.
The spores had been placed on wet cotton wool and packed into 15 envelopes and transparent bags.

Meanwhile, Senior Environmentalist Jagath Gunawardane said according to the National Heritage Wilderness Areas Act, the harming of plants in Sinharaja was illegal and a dangerous situation was prevented because of the vigilance of the guide. (Piyumi Fonseka)

  Comments - 8

  • BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 06 January 2016 03:42 PM

    If they are biologists doing research and the quantity of material they have plucked is just a kilo or two, then this should not be overblown. After all, the vaccination for dengue was discovered few weeks ago after so many years by France after 20 years of continuous research that countries such as SL in the end freely benefit.

    Premalal Wednesday, 06 January 2016 03:57 PM

    We hope that the same tenacity will be shown when dealing with the rape of the Wilpatthu forest.

    prasanna Wednesday, 06 January 2016 04:14 PM

    Enforce the law to Suddas.

    Sonali Thursday, 07 January 2016 04:21 AM

    Spoken like a true "BuffaloaCitizen"

    Buruwa Wednesday, 06 January 2016 04:53 PM

    Some do this as it is a big business selling rare flora

    UniDon Wednesday, 06 January 2016 05:31 PM

    Buffalo, are you going to have the patent for this?

    Banda Wednesday, 06 January 2016 06:17 PM

    He knows no better as the name buffaloa implies

    Mr. Perfect Wednesday, 06 January 2016 07:40 PM

    How about taking action for those stealing the land in the forest and cutting tees. What a stupid law we have.


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