November 18, 2016 1:03 pm

Ontario company, director fined for illegal exports of ivory, python skin

Cesar "Ernie" Gutierrez, a famous custom pool-cue maker, was sentenced Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, to two years of probation for his role in trying to help export protected African elephant ivory to Taiwan.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File

An Ontario company and its director have been fined $12,500 and sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to unlawfully exporting python skin and elephant ivory.

Environment Canada says it began its investigation into 888 Auctions three years ago with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency says it found that on one occasion, the company mailed a small elephant ivory tusk and an ivory carving to the U.S. falsely labelled as a gift ornament.

READ MORE: African elephant populations down 30 per cent according to new census

The pieces were later determined to be from the African forest elephant.

Another time, the agency says 888 Auctions sent a leather case made from python skin to the U.S.

Both exports were made without the necessary permits.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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