Environment and Climate Change Canada reports that, on March 6, 2017, Ms. Xiu Mei Cui pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of British Columbia to two counts under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.
She was fined $75,000 and prohibited, for a period of two years, from importing into Canada items made with species listed by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Of the fine, $70,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. All items seized were forfeited.
On October 17, 2014, officers with the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted Ms. Cui, at the Vancouver International Airport, after finding undeclared jewelry items in her luggage. During the secondary examination, border services officers discovered ivory pendants, bracelets, carvings, chopsticks and ornaments. All the items were detained for investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers. Forensic DNA testing confirmed that the items were made from animal species protected by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, including African and Asian elephants, lion, white rhinoceros and hawksbill turtle.
Any wildlife listed by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and imported into Canada, exported from Canada, or attempted to be exported without the required permits is subject to seizure and forfeiture, and those responsible are liable for prosecution.
Environment and Climate Change Canada notes that wild elephant populations in Africa have been under great pressure from poaching and trafficking in ivory. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 were poached last year.
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