Ivory dealer told: '˜despicable crime drives slaughter'

A TRADER with an interest in '˜unusual ornamental jewellery items' was caught selling outlawed ivory online.

Monday, 7th November 2016, 6:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:02 pm

Chao Xi used two accounts on eBay to sell more than £9,000 of elephant ivory overseas, mostly to China, over a period of five years.

The 32-year-old, of Kingston Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, sold the ‘trinkets’, necklaces and bracelets despite being warned by the website and UK authorities of the prohibition on selling modern ivory.

Shamed Xi, who has no previous convictions, traded 102 items worth £9,981, a court heard.

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Sentencing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, magistrate Rita Behan said: ‘Mr Xi I’m not going to say much to do with this matter apart from to say this is a despicable crime.

‘If no-one like you was selling the items then there would be no need for these beautiful animals to be killed in the wild, suffering long and painful deaths, and have small baby elephants dying because their mothers have been killed.

‘That sounds like quite an emotional response but in considering sentence we have set emotions to one side.’

Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, said: ‘The authorities became aware of somebody selling potential ivory items they shouldn’t be selling on eBay because they potentially come from post-1947 period.

‘The authorities went to the defendant’s address and effected a search upon which they found numerous items of ivory and they already found the evidence from eBay as to the selling.

‘They’re elephant ivory items and when they went to the address they also found a letter from eBay and UK Border Agency indicating legislation to the ivory.

‘It’s the crown’s case the defendant should have been aware.’

The bench imposed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years with 150 hours of unpaid work.

He must pay an £85 victim charge and £85 prosecution costs.

Xi pleaded guilty to a charge of prohibited keeping for sale specimens under endangered species regulations, and a charge of fraudulently evading prohibition, all in relation to the elephant ivory.