Fashion designer Nancy Gonzales, known for her popular accessories in Hollywood, has been arrested by the Colombian government in her hometown of Cali, Colombia.
Multiple reports said the arrest came after Gonzales allegedly smuggled crocodile handbags into the United States on an undetermined basis.
The famous American fashion designer is currently at risk of extradition from the United States, where a fine of $500,000 and a 25-year prison term would await her if convicted in the Southern District of Florida in the United States. United States.
Handbags can be sold for up to $10,000 in designer boutiques in the United States and Europe.
Fashion designer arrested
(Photo: Photo by Lori Glaholm Heron via Pexels)
According FoxNewsColombian prosecutors claimed that Gonzales was involved in the apparent smuggling of crocodile handbags from her home country.
Their entry into the United States is illegal because the accessories are made from crocodile skin or crocodile skin.
Although it is illegal to sell these animal skins, there are instances where it might be permitted in the North American country under the appropriate, but costly, certificate.
The American media also mentioned that a popular Hollywood television series and a number of celebrities allegedly used controversial handbags.
Smuggling Crocodile Handbags
An investigation by Colombian and American authorities suggested that Gonzales had smuggled approximately hundreds of handbags through plane passengers whom she had paid to carry in their personal luggage.
It was not specified on which specific flights or routes the smuggling took place.
However, the probe believes these were direct flights to the United States.
Fox News said the fashion guru told passengers to say the bags would be used as gifts for loved ones when questioned by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.
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The Herald of Durango said on Saturday July 9 that two investigators working with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) informed on Associated press that up to 12 people, individually carrying four handbags, boarded a single flight to the United States.
The flight was covered by return tickets sponsored by Gonzales herself.
Investigators reportedly asked those involved in the smuggling to keep their identities anonymous for further investigation.
In 2019, an interview between Gonzales and the Miami Herald said she feels responsible for making her products even better every time she sees a photo or video of a celebrity carrying one of her carefully crafted handbags, according to the Durango Herald.
Wildlife trafficking, whether illegal trade in animal products or smuggling of live wild animals, is a growing threat to the conservation of endangered or threatened species.
The global network of these trade networks can be achieved through various means, including cross-border ground transportation, ships, and flights.
In the United States, the non-profit organization Wildlife Defenders discovered that wildlife imports into the country come from 214 different countries and territories, with Asia being the largest exporting region, followed by Mexico and Canada.
Along with CBP, the FWS monitors the 65 ports of entry nationwide. Gonzales’ case is just the tip of the iceberg, as related incidents have increased over the past few decades.
Related article: Animal-free leather shoes and handbags made from rising grapes and mushrooms
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