Spalding illegal ivory trader faces jail (UK)

Aug 15, 2019 | News

By The Lincolnshire Reporter

A Spalding man faces a possible jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to buying unworked sections of illegal elephant tusks.

Slawomir Kazmierczak, 55, also admitted trading in illegal ivory jewellery which he bought on eBay. Kazmierczak, of Redthorne Close, Spalding, will be sentenced in October after a judge said the culling of elephants for profit “could not be tolerated.”

He pleaded guilty through a Polish interpreter to nine charges relating to the protection of endangered species (1997 Act) when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court. Two of the charges relate to Kazmierczak purchasing prohibited sections of unworked elephant tusk between May 2013 and May 2017.

Kazmierczak also admitted buying three other prohibited items including an ivory bracelet and an ivory figurine, and four charges of fraudulently evading a prohibition on other ivory items including a necklace, pendent, bangle and three ivory brushes. All the charges occured between May 2013 and April 2017. In police interview Kazmierczak claimed he thought the material was bone, the court heard. But his barrister accepted the offending passed the custody threshold.

Judge John Pini QC described the case as “highly unusual” and said he needed more time to consider the exact role played by Kazmierczak and other similar legal cases. “This is a very unusual area which is new to me,” Judge Pini said.

“These are serious offences for evident reasons and normally attract deterrent sentences.

“Culling elephants for profit is not to be tolerated.”

Kazmierczak was granted bail and will be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on 16 October.