A woman imported an alligator-skin handbag worth A$26,000 (£14,000; $19,000) into Australia without a permit. Authorities will soon destroy the bag.
The Woman had arranged a CITES export permit from France, but she did not apply for an import permit from the Australian CITES Management Authority.
Australian Border Force in Perth has confiscated the luxury bag, from a Saint Laurent boutique in France.
There are certain laws regarding the import of alligator-skin products in Australia. Shoppers must get a A$70 permit to import the items.
Products made from alligators are strictly monitored through its Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In Australia, a maximum penalty for wildlife trade offenses is 10 years in prison and a A$222,000 fine.
Australia’s environment minister has explained it as a “costly reminder” to apply for authentic paperwork.
As the woman cannot afford to pay A$26,313, the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment said it decided to take no further action.
Sussan Ley, the country’s Minister for the Environment, said, “We all need to be aware of what we’re purchasing online as restricting the trade of animal products is crucial to the long-term survival of endangered species,”
She said the government “closely monitors what comes in and out of Australia to stop and deter the illegal wildlife trade”.
The Australian government said that it works hard to “detect cases of illegally imported exotic wildlife products at the border, including fashion accessories, tourist trinkets, furs, taxidermy animals and ivory”.
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