Accused Narwhal Ivory Smuggler Detained in U.S.
In this week’s crime blotter, getting to the bottom of a two-million-dollar tusk conspiracy.
When it comes to illegal ivory, it’s usually elephants that make the news. In this case, it’s the narwhal.
Narwhals are whales that live in Arctic waters. What distinguishes this “unicorn of the sea” is its long ivory tusk—an enlarged tooth of uncertain purpose (some scientists believe it’s a lure to attract mates, while others insist it’s a sensory organ).
The Inuit have traditionally hunted narwhals for their meat, but criminals want them for their ivory. Enter Gregory Logan, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In 2013, Logan was fined nearly $400,000 in Canada—the most ever under the country’s wildlife trade law—for smuggling 250 narwhale tusks into the U.S. In 2012, the U.S. indicted him in connection with