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Man charged with smuggling

first_imgWALNUT – A local dairy worker has been indicted for conspiring to smuggle rare and valuable plants from Zimbabwe. According to the Department of Justice, Andrew Anhh Nguyen of Walnut was charged by a federal grand jury with conspiring to import Encephalartos plants – a variety of cycad resembling a palm or tree fern – which are illegal to import under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Nguyen was charged with eight counts of customs offenses and one count of violating the Endangered Species Act. Attempts to contact Nguyen were unsuccessful. He allegedly entered an agreement in 2001 to buy 51 Encephalartos plants from a co-conspirator for $26,000. The plants shipped to Nguyen from Zimbabwe were labeled as a different species than what they really were, said Joseph Johns, assistant U. S. Attorney. Johns said the plants, which date to the Jurassic period, are popular among avid plant collectors, and “very wealthy people who have too much money and would like a trophy plant for landscaping.” But in Zimbabwe and other African countries where the plants grow, they are threatened by habitat loss and over-collection. Nguyen was charged after a two-year nationwide undercover investigation in which agents posed as smugglers and collectors. Dozens of plant smugglers have been charged, Johns said. “These plants date back hundreds of millions of years,” he said. “I think it’s kind of cool that we still have `dinosaur food’ around, and it’s a shame people are willing to pay other folks to illegally harvest them from the wilds of Africa … to put in a pot next to someone’s pool.” Certain species of cycads can fetch tens of thousands of dollars apiece. Nguyen, whom Johns said runs a nursery out of his back yard, faces up to five years in prison for each felony count, and one year for the misdemeanor count, if convicted. shirley.hsu@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Kohli is correct, need preparation time for SA tour: Ganguly

first_imgKolkata, Nov 24 (PTI) Former India captain Sourav Ganguly today back current skipper Virat Kohli on the issue of cramped scheduling and said that the team needs more time to prepare for tough assignments like the upcoming South Africa tour.Kohli yesterday complained that cramped schedules are getting in the way of proper preparation for big series such as the upcoming tour of South Africa, a criticism that the BCCI promised to address with “utmost seriousness”.Echoing Kohlis concerns, Ganguly said, “He (Kohli) was talking about scheduling of cricket which is so correct. You got to give teams time to prepare when they go to South Africa.”Ganguly was speaking at the India Today Conclave East 2017 here.Ganguly also lavished praise on Kohli who has notched up 50 International century at the Eden Test against Sri Lanka.He said Kohli can challenge Sachin Tendulkars 49 ODI hundreds but the challenge would be to match the Little Masters 51 hundreds in Test.”Virat will get very close to Sachins ODI hundreds which is 49. He is already 32. He will get close to that. He has got to stay fit. When I was playing, from 1996-2003, I had 22 ODI hundreds in 7 years,” Ganguly said.”I see that with Kohli as well. He has got 30 odd in about nine years. It gets tougher with age. It got tougher for Sachin, it got tougher for me, it will get tougher for Virat Kohli,” said Ganguly, who has 22 centuries in 311 ODIs and 16 Test tons in 113 games.”He (Kohli) plays a lot of cricket. I personally feel he will get there to 50 international hundreds with the amount of ODIs that are played. The challenge will be in Test matches to get that far. Its a terrific feeling to have seen Sachin and now you are seeing this boy,” Ganguly added.advertisementAsked to compare Tendulkar and Kohli, Ganguly said they are from different generations. He said Kohli is more expressive and proactive as captain than Tendulkar.”Its not right to compare because these are two cricketers who are from two different generations. I have seen Tendulkar very very closely. An unbelievable cricketer. Some of the runs he has got, match-winning innings he has played is fantastic.”Kohli, a hundred a couple of days ago at Eden Gardens on that pitch, and you could see his expression when he finished. He is a lot more expressive than Tendulkar. He is a lot more proactive than Tendulkar as captain. Tendulkar was different, maybe the generation was different,” he said.Ganguly said hes like the average Bengali man at home but he had to change the attitude of the team he led because some of the players needed to be pushed and develop an aggressive Indian side.”I am a very quiet person off the field, very laidback like a lot of Bengalis. When I became captain, I realised we had to do something different. As Indians, we were very laidback. Sehwag was a fantastic talent but off the field, you would find him asleep and you had to push him. I had to get that atmosphere. It was a strategy to get the team going,” Ganguly said.Ganguly is best remembered for his aggressive captaincy, his success against Australia and that iconic moment when he was seen waiving his shirt at the Lords balcony.There could be mixed reactions to that episode more than 15 years later but one person who is convinced it was a fine act happens to be Gangulys wife, Dona.”It was a fantastic gesture,” said Dona at the India Today Conclave East.However, Ganguly, now a cricket administrator, said he would never do something similar again.”I would never do it now. Every time they would show that footage (on a sports channel), I called the producer and told him I have 20,000 international runs and several hundreds. But he said that is what he want to show,” the 45-year-old said.”It (the shirt-waving) was a lot more out of satisfaction. Do not forget the name on the honours board (for his hundred on Test debut at Lords). That will remain a lot more special.”The world knows Gangulys class as a batsman and his abilities as a leader but how is the great man like at home?There could be nobody better than Dona, his wife, to shed some light on the bhadrolok (gentleman).”He is Sourav at home. He takes control but in a nice, subtle way. He does control the house. He is very busy but when he is there, we respect him and do only what he wants,” Dona said. PTI US TAP PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more