NEW YORK: Malaysian wildlife smuggler, Teo Boon Ching, also known as the "Godfather" has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US for conspiring to traffic hundreds of kilogrammes of rhinoceros horns worth millions of dollars.
The horns were the spoils of the illegal poaching of numerous rhinoceroses, an endangered wildlife species.
The sentence was imposed on Tuesday by court in New York, according to a statement from the US embassy in Thailand.
Ching, 58, was extradited from Thailand in October last year and was the sixth large-scale wildlife trafficker sentenced in cases recently brought by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which also involved the extradition of multiple individuals from several African countries.
"Wildlife trafficking is a serious threat to the natural resources and the ecological heritage shared by communities across the globe, enriching poachers responsible for the senseless illegal slaughter of numerous endangered rhinoceros," said US Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York.
Ching was a member of an international crime ring involved in the trafficking and smuggling of rhino horns to sell to foreign buyers, including buyers in Manhattan.