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Louise de Waal's letter to South African Government Officials

From: Blood Lions | Louise de Waal Sent: Monday, November 16, 2020 10:26 AM To: 'Paul Daphne'; 'Ofentse Kgomotso Mashiyane'; South Africa Minister of Environment, BCreecy

Cc: 'Karl Amann' Subject: Special virtual early release of "The Tiger Mafia" for HLP Importance: High

Dear Honourable Minister Creecy and Honourable HLP Chair Yako,

I would like to bring “The Tiger Mafia”, a film by Karl Ammann and Laurin Merz, to your and the High-Level Panel’s (HLP) attention. We believe that it is extremely important for the HLP to watch this early release of “The Tiger Mafia”, in order to get a better understanding of the links between the South Africa commercial captive predator industry and the illegal trade in tiger body parts in Southeast Asia.

Through CITES, South Africa legally exports a large number of live lions and tigers - as well as lion skeletons and bones - to Southeast Asia. However, many of the live lions and tigers exported from South Africa end up in breeding facilities that supply the illegal trade in their body parts. Countries like Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are known for their widespread involvement in the illegal tiger trade involving international crime syndicates run by well-known wildlife traffickers, such as Vixay Keosavang and the Bach brothers.

“The Tiger Mafia” - Background

Filmmaker, Karl Ammann, has uncovered the illegal breeding of tigers in Southeast Asian tiger farms. His 10-year investigation exposes how body parts are harvested from both live and butchered tigers, and traded in China’s underground pharmaceutical and jewellery industries.

Karl visited warlord and triad-controlled regions of Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam to learn how the tigers are traded. He has been able to achieve what Interpol and other anti-trafficking organizations have failed to do, and by infiltrating top trafficking syndicates he was able to gain access to major crime hubs and underworlds.

The initial 200 hours of footage shot for this documentary came together over a 10-year period with dozens of trips to Southeast Asia and also to South Africa. Most of the filming was to follow up leads from earlier visits, together with meetings and interactions with key players on the ground. Much of “The Tiger Mafia” footage involved filming with hidden cameras.

Watch “The Tiger Mafia”

Karl Ammann has made a special virtual early release of “The Tiger Mafia” available for viewing by the HLP and the Minister. Please find the link details below:

Link: (BLURRED - private video) See Trailer here:

Password: (BLURRED - private video)

Should you have any follow-up questions for Karl Ammann please do not hesitate to contact him direct on

Yours sincerely,

Dr Louise de Waal



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