Ivory smuggling charges for Napier man (New Zealand)


By Rebecca Quilliam, Hawke's Bay Today

Date Published

A 61-year-old Napier man is facing charges of illegally importing 31 pieces of elephant ivory.
The Department of Conservation have this week filed the charges in the Napier District Court, senior investigator Dylan Swain said.
Thirty-two charges of trading in an endangered species without an appropriate permit were filed against the man, who is due to appear in the Napier District Court next month.
They related to 31 pieces of elephant ivory imported without an appropriate permit.
Forensic tests had confirmed the pieces had all been carved from elephant tusks, Mr Swain said.
African and Asian elephants are classified as endangered species and a ban on trading ivory was imposed in 1989 by 175 countries that are parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites).
New Zealand became a party to Cites in 1989.
Importing, exporting or re-exporting any part of a protected species without the appropriate permits was an offence in New Zealand under the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989, Mr Swain said.
“African and Asian elephants are at high risk of extinction because poachers continue to kill them for their tusks despite a global ban on trading in ivory.
“There has been a surge in demand for ivory in Asia and this is believed to be fuelling the illegal trade in elephant tusks,” Mr Swain said.
Last July Auckland man Jiezhen Jiang was fined $12,000 when he appeared before the Manukau District Court after pleading guilty to eight charges of trading in endangered species without a permit.
It was the first time anyone had been convicted for trading in ivory after being charged under the Trade in Endangered Species Act.
The offence carries a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $100,000.

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