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PALERMO – Four tusks of raw, unworked ivory were seized by the forest police of the nature anti-crime center of Palermo in a hotel in Palermo.
The tusks, together with other artifacts always obtained from elephant parts, were exhibited to the public in the premises of the structure intended to host private events and were one of the attractions, so much so that they were often immortalized by patrons and posted on social networks.
The Carabinieri of the Cites Nucleus are in action
The specialized military of the Cites Nucleus carried out an administrative check to verify if the owners of the structure had certificates and authorizations to keep the tusks.
To date, no documents have been provided.
For this crime, the penalty is imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years and a fine from 15 thousand to 150 thousand euros.
In fact, ivory is subject to the protections provided for by the Washington Convention which governs the international trade in species of wild fauna and flora threatened with extinction, whose commercial exploitation (but also only possession) without the appropriate certificates constitutes a hypothesis of crime.
Ivory and the rules governing its trade
The discovery is of particular relevance both for the size of the tusks, each more than two meters high and about 20 kilos in weight, and for the fact that they are unprocessed tusks, whose discipline is even more restrictive than that relating to worked ivory.
Raw ivory – if of non-certified origin – could in fact constitute a raw material for making new products, thus increasing the illegal market which, both international and community legislation, are increasingly restricting.
Lastly, in fact, only in December 2021, the EU has further tightened the regulations relating to the trade in worked ivory objects, providing, even for objects prior to 1947, the obligation of the specific CITES certificate.