[Coral-List] Millon Dollar Fine for Coral Smuggling in the US Virgin Islands

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Mon Feb 11 08:21:56 EST 2013

>From my colleague Bruce Potter's Carib-Coral-Reefs at yahoo.com list:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Carib-coral-reefs] Digest Number 940
Date: 	9 Feb 2013 16:41:21 -0000
From: 	Carib-coral-reefs at yahoogroups.com
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To: 	Carib-coral-reefs at yahoogroups.com



    Millon Dollar Fine for Coral Smuggling in the US Virgin Islands . .

        Sat Feb 9, 2013 7:35 am (PST) . Posted by:

      "Bruce Potter at IRF" bpotter1942
      <mailto:bpotter at irf.org?subject=Re%3A%20Millon%20Dollar%20Fine%20for%20Coral%20Smuggling%20in%20the%20US%20Virgin%20Islands%20%2E%20%2E%20>

Great to see this story of vigorous prosecution for smuggling coral in
the Caribbean . . . . not quite so exciting to realize the prosecution
is for smuggling INTO the jewelry stores of the region, rather than
prosecution for illegal harvesting by ever vigilant rangers and wardens.
.. . .

from the Jamaica Observer


Big fine in US Virgin Islands coral-smuggling case
Friday, February 08, 2013

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, US Virgin Islands ? THE former CEO of an upscale
jewellery- manufacturing company has been fined nearly US$1 million for
smuggling black coral into the US Virgin Islands.
The US Justice Department says a judge also ordered Ashu Bhandari to
spend one month in jail, complete 300 hours of community service and pay
nearly US$230,000 to the University of the Virgin Islands for projects
to research and protect black corals.

The sentence handed down Tuesday marks the end of one of the largest
federal cases involving illegally traded wildlife.

Bhandari pleaded guilty in November to one count of false classification
of goods to hide shipments of internationally protected black coral from
Taiwanese suppliers.

Black corals are found throughout the world and are an important marine
habitat for fish and other forms of marine life.

Read more:

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