Endangered species in LAX contraband
(CNS) – Inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport seized a number of products made from parts of endangered animals, including seven ivory tusks, being carried in the luggage of a U.S. citizen arriving from Europe, authorities announced today.
The items were confiscated on June 27, when a 63-year-old woman’s baggage was referred for examination, said Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“An X-ray examination of the passenger’s three suitcases and a large rectangular metal box revealed a tusk-like object in the box the passenger said was an ‘elephant tooth’ from her deceased uncle’s estate,” Ruiz said.
Officers investigated further and found seven ivory tusks, a hippopotamus tusk, and seven purses made of ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins, Ruiz said.
The woman, whose name was withheld, was questioned and released, Ruiz said. She apparently was not involved with criminal importation activity, but was simply unaware that the importation of the items was prohibited under the Endangered Species Act, Ruiz said.