Australian authorities destroy alligator-skin handbag worth US$ 19,000 over improper paperwork

Authorities destroyed an alligator-skin handbag worth US$ 19,000 imported into Australia without proper paperwork.

The luxury bag, from a Saint Laurent boutique in France, was seized by the Australian Border Force in Perth.

Alligator-skin products are allowed to be imported into Australia, but shoppers must obtain an A$70 permit.

Australia’s environment minister called it a “costly reminder” to apply for the correct paperwork.

The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences in Australia is 10 years in prison and a A$222,000 fine.

While products made from alligator are allowed into Australia they are strictly regulated through its Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The handbag shopper had arranged a CITES export permit from France, but didn’t make an application for an import permit from the Australian CITES Management Authority.

Governments across the world have been clamping down on the trade of over-exploited species such as alligators, with critics say are fuelled by the fashion industry.