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Illegal trade report


53 replies to this topic

#1 Offline soulsynapse - Posted September 2 2019 - 9:20 AM

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Dunno if you guys do anything about this.


Edited by dspdrew, September 15 2019 - 8:19 PM.
content removed

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#2 Offline Subverted - Posted September 2 2019 - 9:51 AM

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Doesn't vincefourmi live in Europe (France afaik) and thus is not breaking any laws on his end?

Why are you calling out someone who may be annoying but is not doing anything wrong?
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#3 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 2 2019 - 9:55 AM

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In order for an "illegal trade" to occur, you would need evidence that two or more people illegally exported/imported ants, or conspired to do so.  This message does not constitute an "illegal trade."  What are you suggesting the punishment should be for members who ask to buy ants from someone in another state/country?

 

If you do not want to be party to an "illegal trade," simply respond that it is against the laws of the United States to export those ants, and that anyone who does so without the proper permits is potentially in violation of US law.  What is so difficult about that?

 

If the rules are followed, the user should be warned that use of the private messaging system to solicit the purchase of ants from members in other states/countries is not allowed.  Then, if it happens again, at least they would know the rules.

 

Also, the user isn't even asking for an invasive species. Besides being "illegal" for no specific reason related to the species in question, what are the possible negative outcomes, and their probabilities, that these desert species could have in a temperate climate?


Edited by drtrmiller, September 2 2019 - 10:02 AM.

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#4 Offline soulsynapse - Posted September 2 2019 - 10:15 AM

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If the rules are followed, the user should be warned that use of the private messaging system to solicit the purchase of ants from members in other states/countries is not allowed.  Then, if it happens again, at least they would know the rules.

 

Great! So it's handled then? Glad I reported, cheers.


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#5 Offline Serafine - Posted September 2 2019 - 10:40 AM

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Well, it took TWO YEARS to NOT ban Joseph Kim, even after it was well established that he was the prime gateway for exotic ants into the US. He went off with what he learned here to even less regularted platforms and continued importing and selling exotics (including invasives) until he got caught by the USDA.

Shipping ants to locations outside of the US is illegal. Doesn't matter if it is legal to IMPORT them into the EU (technically it isn't if they were illegally obtained), this is a direct call to break US law.

Their invasive potential doesn't matter either - "they're not invasive" is literally the weakest argument in defending illegal trade as nobody can really tell which ant can become invasive under which conditions (I've seen reports and pictures of a Messor aciculatus colony in a flower pot which survived a german winter with -20°C temperature spikes, something they're not supposed to do at all) - and next time it could be someone asking Solenopsis invicta.

Although, well, this has actually happened already - antkeepers who were (and possibly still are) also active on FC have tried to form an illegal ant trading ring to ship polygynous Solenopsis invicta to the UK (this incident had nothing to do with FC at all but those people do exist and they will try this on whatever platform that lets them get away with it).

 

Formiculture needs to get it's stuff together when dealing with illegal traders and scammers or it's going to bite us all in the butt one day.


Edited by Serafine, September 2 2019 - 11:06 AM.

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#6 Offline Subverted - Posted September 2 2019 - 10:44 AM

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Shipping ants to locations outside of the US is illegal.


There are legal ways to go about doing this...it just is a lot of paperwork and there are licensing/inspection fees involved that make it a less than straightforward process. Costs a lot to do things legally.

Edit: Was double checking the requirements...seems like you need an Import/Export License ($100), to fill out one form, and pay the inspection fees (~$200).

Form 3-177 instructions: https://www.fws.gov/...nstructions.pdf

Import/Export License FAQ: https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-3a.pdf

Edited by Subverted, September 2 2019 - 11:03 AM.

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#7 Offline Serafine - Posted September 2 2019 - 10:57 AM

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Shipping ants to locations outside of the US is illegal.


There are legal ways to go about doing this...it just is a lot of paperwork and there are licensing/inspection fees involved that make it a less than straightforward process. Costs a lot to do things legally.

 

How high are the chances that this guy is an actual myrmecologist and that he was planing to do all of this legally? Really.

If that was his intention he'd probably have posted it in public instead - including actual proof of his claims of being a myrmecologist - instead of secretly trying to persuade members via private messages to ship ants across the atlantic.


Edited by Serafine, September 2 2019 - 11:02 AM.

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#8 Offline Subverted - Posted September 2 2019 - 11:05 AM

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How high are the chances that this guy is an actual myrmecologist and that he was planing to do all of this legally? Really.
If that was his intention he'd probably have posted it in public instead - including actual proof of his claims of being a myrmecologist - instead of secretly trying to persuade members via private messages to ship ants across the atlantic.

Probably pretty low but what he is doing is not illegal. It is only illegal for someone in the USA to agree if they do not have the intent to go through USFWS to do things legally.

After checking the costs (see my edit) it looks like you could overcome all the regulatory hurdles for around $300.
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#9 Online Martialis - Posted September 2 2019 - 11:16 AM

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:morning:


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#10 Offline AntsDakota - Posted September 2 2019 - 11:51 AM

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It looks like vincefourmi PMed him, indicating he wanted to buy Myrmecocystus from California. If this is so, he was attempting to participate in illegal activity.


Edited by AntsDakota, September 2 2019 - 11:52 AM.

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#11 Offline Mercutia - Posted September 3 2019 - 7:21 AM

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It looks like vincefourmi PMed him, indicating he wanted to buy Myrmecocystus from California. If this is so, he was attempting to participate in illegal activity.

It is only illegal if soulsynapse agrees to sell them to him and it's only illegal for soulsynapse. As far as his vincefourmi's own laws, there are no bans on the trafficking of ants there as far as I know of.

 

If he does live in France, why would he know the laws of the US? Ant trafficking laws are pretty liberal pretty much everywhere else except the states. And unless you have proof of the actual US user who did agree and sold him ants illegally from the states, no illegal trade has taken place as far as semantics are concerned.


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#12 Online Canadian anter - Posted September 3 2019 - 7:27 AM

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I don't see the issue with this at all. If Soulsynapse is the potential seller, he can agree to sell only if vincefourmi supplies the paperwork, pays for inspection fees, veterinarian fees etcetera. And if he is asking to buy based on being a Myrmecologist, you could easily ask only to sell only if he provides proof of being such. As subverted shown, it's possible to sell ants from the US legally.
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#13 Offline Barristan - Posted September 3 2019 - 8:43 AM

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Being gay is also illegal in some islamic countries, do you also report all gay people to these governments so they are getting stoned?

 

I hope you don't report gay people to Saudi Arabian Government in A/AK Discord Server, but who knows....


Edited by Barristan, September 3 2019 - 8:44 AM.

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#14 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted September 3 2019 - 8:57 AM

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Being gay is also illegal in some islamic countries, do you also report all gay people to these governments so they are getting stoned?
 
I hope you don't report gay people to Saudi Arabian Government in A/AK Discord Server, but who knows....


:lol:
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#15 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 3 2019 - 8:59 AM

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I frequently make the analogy to marijuana groups on the internet.  Although I'm not a member of these groups, I do wonder whether any of them engage in the same level of legal scrutiny and chastisement if someone is found out to be in possession of weed in a state where it's not legal?

 

Another anecdote I recall MrILoveTheAnts mentioning in the past, is that during an Ants of the Southwest course a few years ago, one or more attendees asked a few of the course instructors whether it would be permitted to keep honeypot ant queens they found during the course and transport them out of state? The instructors basically didn't care at all.  Some of these scientists and ant-smuggling kids may even be members of this forum.  Should we ban them, too, for their past crimes?


Edited by drtrmiller, September 3 2019 - 10:25 AM.

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#16 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted September 3 2019 - 9:09 AM

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Man: "I just killed that man."

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kinda irrelevant, but still :lol:

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, September 3 2019 - 9:48 AM.

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#17 Offline kounelus - Posted September 3 2019 - 12:36 PM

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In a perfect world the person that sent the PM would be told how to acquire them legally and they would do it that way. In a slightly less ideal world the person would be told and then monitored to make sure they did not continue trying to purchase them illegally. In this world I'm not sure since I doubt the staff has the time or maybe even the ability to scan every PM to make sure illegal trades are not happening. I would probably just inform the person and then hope they followed the law.

 

As for the whataboutism, that doesn't hold much weight and shouldn't. Just because other groups are willing to tolerate illegal activities in regards to their hobbies doesn't mean we should as well. Same with other antkeepers willing to excuse or participate in illegal actions or trades.


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#18 Offline 500miles - Posted September 3 2019 - 3:06 PM

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this makes me laugh


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#19 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 3 2019 - 4:59 PM

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I frequently make the analogy to marijuana groups on the internet.  Although I'm not a member of these groups, I do wonder whether any of them engage in the same level of legal scrutiny and chastisement if someone is found out to be in possession of weed in a state where it's not legal?

 

Another anecdote I recall MrILoveTheAnts mentioning in the past, is that during an Ants of the Southwest course a few years ago, one or more attendees asked a few of the course instructors whether it would be permitted to keep honeypot ant queens they found during the course and transport them out of state? The instructors basically didn't care at all.  Some of these scientists and ant-smuggling kids may even be members of this forum.  Should we ban them, too, for their past crimes?

 

I was there, it was not so much a matter of not caring as it was of being realistically unable to prevent them from taking them with them short of searching luggage and forcibly confiscating them.


Edited by gcsnelling, September 3 2019 - 5:00 PM.

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#20 Offline TheAntingBunny - Posted September 4 2019 - 1:04 PM

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Wait... so Soul can publicly post evidence of someone's attempt to allegedly acquire ants from the U.S while I can't? Last time I publicly posted evidence of New Yorker trying to buy Pogonomyrmex from California I was told I couldn't and the photo was promptly deleted. Can I have some clarification?


Edited by TheAntingBunny, September 4 2019 - 1:10 PM.

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