Two Inglewood firms face $1-million fines for smuggling protected stay corals from Vietnam

A few small fish swim next to corals

Stay corals are pictured off Hon Mun island in Vietnam’s Nha Trang Bay in June.
(Quang Duc / AFP/Getty Photos)

Two Inglewood marine wildlife firms pleaded responsible in federal court docket this week to illegally importing stay coral from Vietnam, prosecutors stated.

Renaissance Aquatics Inc. and Lim Aqua-Nautic Specialist Inc. every pleaded responsible to 2 felony counts of illegally importing the coral between 2012 and 2013.

You are reading: Two Inglewood firms face $1-million fines for smuggling protected stay corals from Vietnam

Renaissance Aquatics operated as a retailer of stay animals and was an agent for Lim Aqua-Nautic, a wildlife wholesaler.

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“The businesses imported marine life from overseas suppliers, then bought and shipped marine life inside and out of doors the USA,” the U.S. legal professional’s workplace for the Central District of California stated in a launch Wednesday. “Each firms have been situated throughout the similar industrial constructing in Inglewood.”

Renaissance workers positioned orders with overseas suppliers for specimens, together with coral, whereas Aqua-Nautic offered funds, picked the orders up from Los Angeles Worldwide Airport and saved them, prosecutors stated.

The orders that Renaissance imported orders from a Vietnamese provider included stay stony corals, that are protected underneath the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) however will be legally imported if sure declarations and identifications are made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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“Renaissance neither declared the stay stony corals within the shipments from Vietnam nor offered the required CITES documentation for them,” prosecutors stated. “Renaissance prompted its customs dealer to undergo the USFWS a deceptive [document] that deliberately omitted the stay stony corals and listed inaccurate costs.”

Moreover, the shipments themselves have been packed in order to cover the corals underneath correctly declared wildlife.

From Could 2012 to March 2013, Renaissance illegally imported not less than eight such shipments.

The 2 firms are set to be sentenced in November; every faces as a lot as 5 years’ probation and a $1-million superb.

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