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Importation and sale of endangered wild animals

ALIVE News 2000

Details of Case of Umeda Wan Wan Land

  • 24 May 1999: Sonezaki Police Station in Osaka arrested Yoshiharu Kaito (37), owner of Umeda Wan Wan Land, and Masato Kashiwao (32), manager, on the suspicion of violating prefectural regulation on care and management of potentially dangerous animals and Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Law for Conservation of Species). Confiscated animals included pumas, servals, and caimans. A siamang gibbon (listed under Appendix I of CITES) was also found and confiscated on 26 May.
  • 1 June 1999: Four baby orangutans (2 male, 2 female; all aged between 1 and 2) were found in the residence of a former employee of the pet shop during the search of the place and were confiscated and taken to Oji Zoo in Kobe.
  • 14 June 1999: Yoshiharu Kaito and Masato Kashiwao were arrested on suspicion of violating Law on the Conservation of Species for purchasing four orangutans for the sum of 2 million yen in December, 1998 and April, 1999.
  • 18 June 1999 Okayama Nishi Police Station arrested Minenobu Katayama (33), a trader, who lives in Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture, on suspicion of violating prefectral regulation on care and management of potentially dangerous animals. He kept a serval, importation of which needs to be reported to the competent authority, and took it to his acquaintance's residence in Okayama City without obtaining a permit from Okayama Prefecture. Katayama also imported several other serval and sold them to acquaintances as well as to Umeda Wan Wan Land.
  • 28 June 1999: Okayama Prefecture Police Headquarters arrested Katsuhiko Miura (50), a veterinarian who runs a veterinary clinic in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, on suspicion of violating prefectural regulation on protection and management of animals. Miura purchased two serval from Katayama, the trader who was arrested on 18 June.
  • 29 June 1999: Indonesian consulate general in Osaka made official requests to Osaka Public District Prosecutor's Office for a thorough investigation and to the Japanese government for the return of the confiscated orangutans. Indonesian embassy also requested the return of the orangutans.
  • 4 July 1999: Warrant of arrest was issued for Kenichiro Fukuura (44), a Japanese broker who lives in Indonesia, on suspicion of violating Law for Conservation of Species and Foreign Exchange Act; arrangements were made for his international search Fukuura turned himself in on 6 July and was arrested. The carrier of the animals also turned himself in and was arrested.
  • 5 July 1999: Owner and manager of Umeda Wan Wan Land were prosecuted for violation of Law on the Conservation of Species.
  • 20 July 1999: Osaka Police Headquarters arrested Mitsuhiro Ozawa (67), an importing trader, on suspicion of violating Foreign Exchange Act (importation without permit). Ozawa took owner and manager of the pet shop to the animal market in Jakarta and introduced them to local illegal wildlife traders for the purchase of orangutans and siamang gibbons.
  • 21 July 1999: The first trial on owner and manager of the pet shop; both pleaded guilty as charged.
  • 3 August 1999: A wow-wow gibbon (listed under appendix I of CITES) was found and confiscated and taken to Oji Zoo.
  • 30 August 1999: The accused resigned the ownership of orangutans and other confiscated animals and ownership of those animals was transferred to Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
  • 14 September 1999: Trial was held on owner and manager of the pet shop, broker and two others at Osaka District Court.
  • 25 November 1999: Decision of the court was given to Fukuura (broker) and the carrier, and both were sentenced to actual serving time in jail without probation.
List of primates confiscated from Umeda Wan Wan Land 4 orangutans, 1 siamang gibbon, 1 wow-wow gibbon (all CITES App. I), 3 talapoin monkeys, 1 greater white-nosed guenon, 2 patas monkeys (all CITES App. II)

Also were found, 3 siamang gibbons, 2 orangutans, 1 hoolock gibbon, and 1 Bengal wildcat that died before being confiscated. Some of the confiscated animals were returned to the owner of the pet shop later and the pet shop is still in business.

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