October 22, 2007

BC resident levied $18K total penalty for illegally importing ivory

RICHMOND, BC-Yuk Ming (Peter) Ho was fined $9,000 fine and ordered to pay an additional $9,000 to TRAFFIC, (a division of the World Wildlife Fund) after pleading guilty in Richmond provincial court to illegally importing over 30,000 pieces of African elephant ivory. The items seized by Environment Canada included various carvings, jewelry and other crafts derived from African elephant ivory. The retail value was estimated at over $100,000. The penalty reflected the level of endangerment of the species involved as well as the commercial nature of the amount involved in the case. Ho was further ordered to forfeit all the ivory seized during the investigation, which was the largest Canadian ivory case investigated by Environment Canada's wildlife enforcement division in recent years. The investigation established that while Ho was in Hong Kong in February, 2005 he sent himself the parcel of carvings using a false name and Hong Kong address. The parcel was first detected by Canada Border Services Agency officers at the International Mail Centre in Vancouver, who then referred the items to Environment Canada for identification and investigation.

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