Reptile Smuggler Fined
Windsor, October 29, 1999 -- Environment Canada and Revenue Canada reported today that Nancy Regier of Windsor was fined $8,000 in an Ontario court after pleading guilty to smuggling and illegally transporting reptiles into and out of Canada.
Regier was fined $6,000 after pleading guilty to smuggling 14 Madagascar tree boas and 14 spider tortoises worth an estimated $84,082 into Canada. She was fined an additional $2,000 after pleading guilty to unlawfully exporting from Canada, two Exuma Island ground iguanas and one Angolan python worth an estimated $40,190.
In August 1998, as part of an ongoing investigation, Environment Canada game officers and Revenue Canada customs investigators laid charges against five individuals suspected of being involved in international reptile smuggling. On June 30, 1999, Marc Lachaine of Toronto was fined a total of $4,000 for illegally importing and purchasing reptiles. On September 22, 1999, Dale Hickson of Windsor was fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to unlawfully exporting reptiles and Deborah Abbott of Vancouver was fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to smuggling reptiles into Canada.
"Reptile smuggling is a high-profit, criminal enterprise that jeopardizes the world’s most vulnerable animals," said Gary Colgan, Chief of Enforcement and Compliance for the Canadian Wildlife Service. "Protecting the border to prevent the illicit trade of endangered animals is a responsibility that Revenue Canada takes very seriously," added Ian McGuffin, assistant director, Revenue Canada Investigations (Windsor).
The reptiles involved in this case are controlled species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is an international treaty that protects endangered and threatened species of animals and plants from over-exploitation by regulating their international trade. Revenue Canada’s Customs and Trade Administration Branch shares responsibility with Environment Canada’s Enforcement Division in enforcing statutes to protect CITES-listed species.
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