LA cracking down on ivory sales

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Investigators seized statues made of ivory during undercover investigations in the Los Angeles area this year. (LA City Attorney's Office)

The ivory tusk of a narwhal, a rare sea mammal and statues made of ivory were seized earlier this year in the Los Angeles area during undercover investigations led by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The items were for sale online and in high-end antique stores.

"The ivory trade is cruel, inhumane and barbaric. We are going after those we've alleged who are selling today," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

Three businesses have been charged after a loophole was closed that now prohibits the sale of ivory in the city. The law is meant to help protect endangered species around the world.

One of the businesses charged is Antiquarian Traders, located in Beverly Hills.

"In February, undercover officers from Fish and Wildlife were directed by a store employee allegedly to a 50,000 square-foot warehouse which is used by this business and houses similar goods. A search warrant was executed," Feuer said.

According to the City Attorney's Office, 10 ivory art deco pieces were removed from Antiquarian Traders, allegedly for sale at $4,500 to as much as $30,000.

"It?s been proven that poached wildlife that is trafficked is directly linked to terrorist organizations. That's a threat to global economies. It's a threat to our nation," said David Bess, chief of enforcement for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The City Attorney's Office hasn't decided what to do with the collected ivory including the narwhal tusk from the Los Angeles antique store, Antonio's Bella Casa.

One option is to burn the items.

Related Topics:
salescrimecalifornia department of fish and wildlifeLos AngelesBeverly Hills
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