Officials Crack Narwhal Smuggling Ring

10 years of illicit ivory sales

Jan 4, 2013
Outside
Outside Magazine

An illegal 10-year, cross-border, Canada-to-America, narwhal tusk-smuggling ring has been busted in an international sting. For a decade, two Canadians have been legally purchasing narwhal ivory in Canada, and then transporting it to Bangor, Maine, hiding the tusks in a secret trailer compartment in order to cross the border. (It has been illegal to import narwhal tusks since 1972.) The tusks were then shipped, via FedEx, to American dealers, who sold the tusks for anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 each. The two Americans indicted in the case could face up to $25,000 in fines and 20 years in jail, while the Canadians face 28 different charges. As the Associated Press notes, “Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea for their spiral, ivory tusks that can grow longer than eight feet.”

Via Global Post

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