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Tusks, animal-skin purses from confiscated endangered animals seized at LAX

Customs officers seized objects made from endangered animals at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

July 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Customs officers seized objects made from endangered animals at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday.

Seven ivory tusks, one hippopotamus tusk and seven purses made from ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins were seized from suitcases brought in by an American woman traveling from Europe.

A 63-year-old woman traveling from Greece via Germany was referred for a baggage examination by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at LAX on June 27. The woman had not declared any items upon entry into the U.S.

Officers X-rayed the woman's three suitcases and a large rectangular metal box. CBP officers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents confirmed that 15 items confiscated from the woman's luggage were prohibited from importation to the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act.

The items were confiscated. The woman was not arrested and was not expected to face charges. She claimed she was unaware of the import rules. She said items came from her deceased uncle's estate.


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