The Australian customs officials crushed a buyer’s dream and destroyed her handbag made from alligator-skin because she could not produce the import permit of the item.
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- Last Updated: September 5, 2020, 3:10 PM IST
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People who buy exotic animal products also understand the need to get clearance for their purchases from relevant authorities. If a buyer fails to do that then s/he ends up paying an exorbitant price for the mistake.
The Australian customs officials crushed a buyer’s dream and destroyed her handbag made from alligator-skin because she could not produce the import permit of the item, reported CNN. The cost of the handbag was A$ 26,313, which is almost equal to Rs. 14 lakh.
The Saint Laurent handbag was purchased online from a boutique in France. It was seized in January by the Australian Border Force (ABF) from the cargo depot in Perth.
As per the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, the buyer had attained an export license from Europe but failed to get the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora) import permit from Australia.
CITES permit regulates the import of alligator products in the country so that it can be ascertained that they are not linked to illegal wildlife trade.
As the product did not have this permit, it was seized by department officials.
Wildlife trade offences can result in a penalty of A$ 222,000 (Rs. 1.18 crores) or imprisonment of up to 10 years in Australia.
However, in this case, no further action was taken against the buyer apart from destroying her item.
Warning the buyers of exotic animal products, Sussan Ley, the Minister for Environment said “We all need to be aware of what we’re purchasing online as restricting the trade of animal products is crucial to the long-term survival of endangered species,” reported CNN.
She added that Australia closely monitors what comes into and out of the country.
The Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood also said that Australia is cautious about illegally imported items including “fashion accessories, tourist trinkets, furs, taxidermy animals and ivory.”