Elephant and walrus tusk ivory smuggler sentenced

elephant and walrus tusk ivory smuggler sentenced - Elephant and walrus tusk ivory smuggler sentencedImage copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption The items were made of walrus or elephant ivory

A man attempting to illegally export items made from elephant and walrus ivory has received a suspended prison sentence.

Peter Maw, 65, of Duke Street, Cheltenham was charged in October 2019 following a lengthy investigation by Gloucestershire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit beginning in 2017.

He admitted all five offences relating to laws restricting the sale of ivory items at a hearing in December.

He was ordered to pay £500 in costs.

‘Unusual investigation’

Maw admitted five counts of fraudulently evading any duty, prohibition, restriction or provision, four of which related to elephant ivory and the fifth to walrus.

He was sentenced on Thursday at Gloucester Crown Court and was given a three-month sentence for each offence, to run concurrently, all of which have suspended for 18 months.

The investigation began in 2017 when customs officers at Heathrow Airport intercepted a package that he declared to be a gift worth £15, when in fact it was a carved ivory figure which had been sold for £147 and was being delivered to China.

The package was seized because Maw did not have the necessary permits to export or re-export outside the UK, Gloucestershire Police said.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit informed the police and in March 2018 a warrant was secured for a search of Maw’s home where several bone and ivory items were seized.

Ch Insp Rich Pegler, force lead for rural crime, said: “Fortunately this is an unusual investigation for Gloucestershire but I hope this result sends out a message that no matter how rare a crime is we have people who are capable of solving it and bringing offenders to justice.”

Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Maw was bringing the items into the UK with a view to exporting them

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