Man jailed for smuggling rare corals and clams into the UK

c93eea0f-8726-43e5-ac82-0f7c928f6222

Editor's Picks
 A perfect place for your Fighter to rest his little fins — the Betta Bed Leaf Hammock.
Gear Post
Review: Betta Bed Leaf Hammock
21 November 2017
 Just look at that little face... No wonder then, that so many fishkeepers find these little puffers so hard to resist.
Features Post
Join the puffer fish fan club!
28 September 2017
 Special care needs to be taken when catching Pictus catfish and other species with spines.
Features Post
Travels with your fish
03 August 2017


A Manchester man has been jailed after he was caught trying to smuggle more than 700 rare and endangered corals and clams into the UK.

Alex Montgomery (23), from Stalybridge in Greater Manchester, was arrested while trying to collect the shipment at Manchester Aiport.

Over 750kg/1600 lbs of CITES-protected inverts - 650 hard corals and 60 clams, some of which were 20cm/8" long - were discovered by Border Force officials after a search of air freight in May last year. They had been sent to Montgomery from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in 36 boxes labelled 'Marine Fish and Soft Corals'.

A further search of Montgomery's business premises in Hyde revealed another 120 protected species.

None of the undeclared items had any accompanying CITES documentation and were consequently seized.

Montgomery's computer, which had information regarding his business dealings with foreign suppliers, was also seized.

Montgomery pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on May 22 and was jailed for six months.

Vicky Allan, Assistant Director of Border Force, said: "The illicit trade in endangered animals is a serious contributory factor to the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species.

"Border Force takes its role in enforcing international agreements and prohibitions designed to protect the natural environment very seriously.

"Anyone trading in protected creatures and plants should ensure they have the right paperwork before they import exotic animals into the UK."

If you have information about activity you suspect may be linked to smuggling contact the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.

Don't forget that PFK is now available to download on the iPad.