By All News Press
Antiques fairs are a delight for bargain hunters, always on the lookout for a bargain. They also sometimes attract fraudsters, eager to sell illegal merchandise.
On November 14, customs officers from the Quimper brigade (Finistère) carried out checks on exhibitors at a trade show. On the spot, the customs officers discovered 140 ivory rings sold as such on the stall of a professional.
A few meters away, another exhibitor also offered for sale twelve finely carved ivory items. Questioned by the agents, the two exhibitors were unable to specify “the origin of the objects and to present documents attesting to their detention”, indicates the regional customs directorate in a press release.
Seizures of Protected Species Up Sharply
The expertise carried out by agents from the French Office for Biodiversity in Quimper confirmed that the 152 objects were indeed made of ivory. The articles were therefore de facto seized and the two sellers sanctioned with a customs fine.
Last year, French customs officers recorded 371 offenses in terms of protected species, a figure up 42% over one year. Forty-two ivory objects, for a total weight of 148 kg, had thus been seized.