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Westminster: Man fined £4k after police discover endangered species collection

PUBLISHED: 17:28 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 19 April 2017

A crocodile skull.        Picture: MPS

A crocodile skull. Picture: MPS

Archant

A man has been fined thousands of pounds after he was found with a collection of endangered species’ body parts – including a crocodile’s head and a tortoise shell.

Part of a sawfish.        Picture: MPSPart of a sawfish. Picture: MPS

Sasko Bezovski, 47, of Warwick Avenue, pleaded guilty to purchasing, offering to purchase, selling or keeping specimens of an endangered species at Hammersmith and Fulham Magistrates’ Court today.

He was fined £4,000 and must pay £85 court costs and a £170 government surcharge.

Bezovski was found with the items at his Kokon to Zai shop in Golborne Road, North Kensington in July last year.

He was charged on March 17 this year after an investigation by the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit.

Part of a deer pig's skull.    Picture: MPSPart of a deer pig's skull. Picture: MPS

The items found include part of a knifetooth sawfish, a spur-thighed tortoise shell and a babirusa skull.

They were spotted by a wildlife inspector and identified as protected under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora.

To sell specimens listed by the convention, the seller must have documentary evidence to show the item was obtained before March 3, 1947.

Bezovski was unable to provide the correct certification.

Det Con Christopher Jones, of the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “The trade of endangered species is subject to strict regulations and it is the responsibility of the seller to make sure they are aware of this legislation and have the correct documentation.

“I am extremely grateful to our National Wildlife Crime colleagues who assisted with the investigation.”

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