The Department of State is disrupting wildlife trafficking networks by imposing visa restrictions on eight nationals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These actions under section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which targets wildlife and timber traffickers who are believed to be, or have been, complicit in or involved in trafficking in wildlife, wildlife parts, or products. Wildlife trafficking is a serious transnational crime that threatens national security, economic prosperity, the rule of law, long-standing conservation efforts, and human health through the spread of zoonotic disease. The DRC is a major hub for trafficked wildlife and wildlife products moving from Africa to Asia and the Middle East. This includes vast quantities of ivory and pangolin scales, as well as rhino horn, and endangered live animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and African grey parrots.
This visa restriction policy is designed to further disrupt the movements and business of transnational criminal organizations involved in wildlife and timber trafficking by making it harder for them to smuggle illegal wildlife and timber. We are sending a clear message that wildlife and timber traffickers are not welcome in the United States. The United States is committed to working with DRC government authorities and the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) to disrupt trafficking networks and combat wildlife trafficking globally.