A man has been jailed for attempting to sell elephant tusks and rhino horns.
Abbas Allawi, 52, (02/02/1965) of Gisburne Way, Hertfordshire was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday, 9 November to 14 months’ imprisonment for offences relating to the illegal purchase, keeping for sale and selling parts of endangered species.
On Monday, 19 October 2016, a search warrant was executed at Allawi’s home address in Hertfordshire by officers from the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit, the Dog Unit and supporting officers.
During the search three rhinoceros horns, two elephant tusks and four hippopotamus tusks were seized.
The rhinoceros horns were detected by MPS search dogs specially trained to identify the scent of rhino horn.
Police found that Allawi had offered these items for sale.
He was arrested, charged and sentenced as follows:
– Keeping/offering for sale three rhinoceros horns and offering to purchase rhinoceros horns, contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 – 14 months imprisonment;
– Keeping/offering for sale two elephant tusks and offering for sale 40Kg of elephant ivory – seven months’ imprisonment, to run concurrent; and
– Keeping offering for sale four hippopotamus teeth (tusks) – three months’ imprisonment, to run concurrent
DC Sarah Bailey of the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “This case shows that laws are in place to protect endangered species. I would urge anyone who sees specimens from protected wildlife for sale to contact police.
“We are committed to ensuring that anyone in London who is trading illegally in endangered animal parts is stopped.”
DC Christopher Jones added: “Some rhinoceros populations are critically endangered. A world without iconic species such as rhinos and elephants would be a sad place. Police are the last line of defence for some of these beautiful creatures but we will seek to prosecute anyone found to be trading illegally.”
Her Honour Judge Dean commended the officers for their work on this case.
The Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 makes the sale of endangered species and their parts in the UK, including unworked rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory, an offence.
Source: Met Police Press Release.