Police stop tiger skull auction
Publish Date: Saturday,26 January, 2008, at 01:41 AM Doha Time
A top London auction house has been investigated by police after trying to sell body parts of endangered species.
Bonhams in Bond Street was visited by Met officers after a tip-off from a customer that the items were illegally up for auction. The body parts – a tiger’s skull, three narwhal tusks and a number of turtle shells – were due to be sold in the annual Gentleman’s Library sale.
An antiques dealer, attending a pre-sale viewing of the lots, spotted the items and alerted police.
Two officers from the Met’s wildlife crime unit told Bonhams to remove the objects from the auction, warning staff they could be prosecuted and face a fine or even imprisonment if they were sold.
The antiques dealer, who asked not to be named, said he was shocked to see the body parts on display. “I called police and they said not to leave a bid because I could be liable to prosecution,” he said.
“I have told Bonhams several times in the past they are supposed to establish whether items can be legally sold or not. They are very laissez faire and have a ‘we know best’ attitude.”
The objects are covered by rules imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. ? London Evening Standard
For The Tiger
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