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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A German national has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle 40 tons of coral illegally harvested off the coast of the Philippines through the Port of Portland.

Gunther Wenzek, owner of a company called Cora Pet in Essen, Germany, was arrested Wednesday at Dulles International Airport on his way to the Global Pet Expo in Orlando. He was arraigned Friday in federal court in Alexandria.

The government said the coral came from the Philippines, which bans all coral exports. Federal laws ban importation of wildlife harvested in violation of foreign laws.

Besides smuggling, Wenzek faces three misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. He is expected to face trial in Portland.





German charged with smuggling coral through Oregon
 

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What also make this interesting, is that he was exporting it from the Philipines which is strictly prohibited. I would be interested in know what the exporters are facing, and how they managed to get it out of that country.
 
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