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Portillo is not alone.

  • Subject: Portillo is not alone.
  • From: Phil Bunch <pbunch@cts.com>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 22:15:48 -0500 (CDT)

There is an article in the San Diego Union Tribune today from AP on 11 
people charge with smuggling orchids and cycads. It appears that Mr. 
Portillo is only a small fish in a rather large pool. This is not to say 
that he was part of the reported bust, but he may have been caught up in 
the overall investigation. The text of the article follows and may be 
accessed at:

Follow the "More news stories inside . . ." link at the bottom of the page.
11 are charged with smuggling $840,000 in protected plants
SAN FRANCISCO -- Eleven people have been charged in four plant-smuggling 
schemes totaling more than $840,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's 
Office.  The indictments, unsealed Wednesday, stem from an undercover 
investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Agriculture 
Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  Arrested were: 
Peter H. Heibloem, 47, of Queensland, Australia; Ernest J. Bouwer, 56, of 
Sandton, South Africa; Donald Joseph Wiener, 64, of Mexico; Rolf D. Bauer, 
44, of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Jan Van Vuuren, 54, of Centurion, 
South Africa.  Heibloem, Bouwer and Wiener face charges of conspiracy, 
smuggling and making false statements.  They, along with three other men 
who were not identified, are accused of sending $542,000 worth of protected 
cycads to the United States from South Africa, Australia and Zimbabwe. 
 Cycads, which resemble palms or tree ferns, are a small group of 
protected, primitive plants.  Bauer and Van Vuuren are charged with 
conspiracy, smuggling and making false statements. They're accused of using 
invalid permits to send more than $300,000 worth of cycads to the United 
States from South Africa.  Antonius Juniarto of Surabaya, Indonesia, and 
Iwan Kolopaking, 32, of Jakarta, Indonesia, face the same charges for 
shipping several packages of rare orchids falsely labeled as toys into the 
United States from Indonesia. The two men remain at large.  Terence Leung 
of Hong Kong was charged with smuggling orchids from Hong Kong into the 
United States.  Orchids and cycads are protected by the Endangered Species 
Act.    Copyright 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. 		

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