Catholic priest cleared of links to illegal ivory trade

Priest cleared

Investigators in the Philippines have cleared a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Cebu of involvement in the illegal trade of ivory, reports Ucanews.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it found 'no sufficient evidence' to link Monsignor Cristobal Garcia to the illegal trade. The NBI also cleared the priest of allegations that he owns religious icons made from banned ivory.

In its October 2012 issue, National Geographic magazine linked Garcia, who is also facing child abuse charges in the United States, to the illegal ivory trade. The National Geographic article quoted Garcia as explaining how ivory can be smuggled out of the Philippines.

'Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it,' the National Geographic article quoted Garcia.

Philippine investigators, however, said they found insufficient evidence to pin down the priest, who has reportedly been hiding in Manila over the past year.

'We really could not establish that Monsignor Garcia is engaged in [ivory] smuggling... the accusations remain hearsay,' said Gregorio Algoso Jr, NBI supervising agent in Cebu City.

FULL STORY Philippines priest cleared of links to ivory trade (Ucanews)

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