Paris thwarts smuggling of 392 monkey skulls from Cameroon to France

Customs at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France said on Thursday, September 22, 2023, that it intercepted 392 monkey skulls and 326 skulls of other animals from smugglers’ luggage over a period of seven months last year, according to AFP.

Photo from the smuggling of monkey skulls in France - Source: Russian Sputnik

Customs officials revealed that the confiscated skulls belonged to species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, mostly from Cameroon, and were intended for transport to the United States for collectors and hunting clubs, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

“Their transport could only be possible with special permits and none of the packages tested had such permits,” customs said.

Customs transported all the skulls to the Natural History Museum in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, for scientific evaluation.

France customs: trafficking in reserves is the most profitable after drug trade

“Trafficking in protected species is one of the most lucrative types of trade after drugs, weapons and human trafficking,” French airport customs chief Gilbert Beltrand told local media, adding that the trade generates between $8.5 billion and $21.3 billion a year.

Whole specimens, heads or arms of hands were found in the parcels, and otters, cats, lizards and birds of prey were also being smuggled, authorities said.

King Charles arrives in Bordeaux, the last stop in his visit program in France

In another context, King Charles III of Britain and his wife Camilla arrived in the city of “Bordeaux” in southwestern France, on Friday, the last stop in the program of their visit to France, and was received at the airport by the French Minister of the Armies, Sebastien Licorno.

The King of Britain and his wife then went to the city council of “Bordeaux”, where they were received by the mayor of Bordeaux amid a large number of citizens who came specifically to receive King Charles and greet him.

This stop in King Charles III’s program reflects his passion and interest in environmental issues, as he will visit an “experimental forest” in the “Floirac” region, where scientists from Purdue University and the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, have been studying the response of forests to environmental changes since 2020, and are particularly interested in forest adaptation to drought in a region still reeling from the wildfires that broke out in the summer of 2022.

39,000 Britons in Bordeaux

The visit is also symbolic, as the city of Bordeaux was at one point controlled by King Henry II of England and where about 39,000 Britons reside today.

The king and his wife will visit vineyards and meet firefighters involved in fighting fires that swept through Land last year.

Yesterday, King Charles gave a historic speech to the French Senate, then toured the cathedral square, inspected the ongoing restoration work, where he exchanged talks with the restoration team of the cathedral, part of which was damaged by a large fire that broke out in April 2019.

He also met with officials from sports associations and figures in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, which will be one of the main venues for the Olympic Games in the French capital in the summer of 2024.


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