Harrowsmith

Smoked Game and Fake Caviar: The Black-Market Meat Trade

The conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Deforest is long and sprawling. It must be a slow day for illegal wildlife trafficking, or perhaps no one else had ever taken such an interest in his work. He has bright blue eyes, short bangs, and a goatee-mustache combo grown just past the stubble phase. There are two swords hanging on the wall behind him and a lamp of twisted wood on the filing cabinet.

Massive trade networks transport food products from Africa to the growing diaspora in Europe. Semi-legal container shipments arrive at European ports regularly, packed with vegetables, fish, and fruit. But wild game is brought to Europe in a much different manner. Each week, flights from Kinshasa and other African cities carry immense quantities of smoked meat, crammed into passenger luggage, smuggled by hand. Paris has become a hub of the illegal trade.

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