Illegal Wildlife Trafficker In Florida Sentenced To 90 Days Home Detention

Akbar Akram pleaded guilty to a single count of wildlife trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act.
Varanus Salvator Cumingi
Philippine water monitor, Varanus salvator cumingi Photo by Hive001/Wikipedia

A man who in January 2020 pleaded guilty to smuggling CITES-protected water monitors from the Philippines, has been sentenced to 90 days of home detention and 288 hours of community service for his crime.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Akbar Akram, of Holiday, FL imported more than 20 water monitors from the Philippines between January and December 2016 by hiding them in socks. In January 2020, Akron pleased guilty to a single count of wildlife trafficking, in violation of the Lacey Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Treaty.

Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Trafficking CITES-Protected Water Monitors From The Philippines

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Akram apparently admitted that he was aware that the lizards he was in possession of were poached in violation of Philippine law, and bringing the reptiles into the Untied States violated U.S. law. Akram also admitted that he sold some of the lizards to customers in Colorado, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

It is not known what species Akram pleaded guilty to trafficking, but the yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi), the white-headed water monitor (Varanus nuchalis), and the marbled water monitor (Varanus marmoratus), are endemic to the Philippines.

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