Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Narwhals, the law and money

Narwhals tusking, or breaching in a group
Photo: National Institute of Standards and Technology via Wiki Commons
  A Narwhal is a whale about 30 feet or so in length, they live in the Arctic.  Inuit peoples in Greenland and Northern Canada are allowed to hunt for food, and ivory.  That begins the tale of four people who will stand trial today in Federal Court in Bangor, Maine.
  The trial is about importing banned items and money laundering.  These people didn't just bring a tusk home as tourists, they illegally brought in maybe 400 tusks.  The value was up to one million dollars.  That's a lot of Narwhals that were illegally killed - - just for ivory collectors.
  Two Canadians would obtain the tusks, and two Americans would take one at a time and ship it via UPS, the "customer" would send money to an account in Bangor.
  It all equates to the slaughter of Elephants in Africa killed for ivory, and I would guess the Narwhal ivory is considered more exotic.
  You can read more about it here: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/09/news/bangor/trial-begins-tuesday-for-nj-man-allegedly-involved-in-narwhal-whale-tusk-smuggling-conspiracy/?ref=polbeat
The skull and tusks of a rare Narwhal with two tusks, a rare whale
Photo: Wikipedia

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