Celebrity designer accused of smuggling crocodile handbags

Prosecutors in Colombia said they have detained a well-known Colombian…

DF Staff - July 18, 2022 0
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Prosecutors in Colombia said they have detained a well-known Colombian fashion designer whose accessories were worn by stars and characters in the television series “Sex and the City” and who now faces extradition to the United States on allegations of importing crocodile handbags.

The U.S. Southern District of Florida has filed accusations against Nancy Gonzalez that may result in a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

The selling of some crocodile skins is lawful, but it requires a certificate that can be expensive and difficult to get.

Gonzalez is accused of smuggling hundreds of handbags into the United States by paying passengers to carry them in their personal luggage on flights to the United States and instructing them to declare that the goods were gifts for their family if they were interrogated by customs authorities.

Designer boutiques in the United States and Europe offer the purses for up to $10,000.

As many as 12 persons, each with four purses, boarded a single aircraft to the United States with round-trip tickets paid for by Gonzalez, according to two investigators working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2019. To avoid jeopardizing their investigation, the investigators requested anonymity.