Expensive Amsterdam boutique raided for endangered animal leather; 105 items seized

Dutch food and product safety authority NVWA raided a very expensive Amsterdam fashion boutique this week and seized 105 items of clothing made of leather from endangered species - including shoes, coats, belts, skirts and other accessories made of crocodile, python and anaconda leather, the Volkskrant reports based on a court ruling.

The owners of the store face charges of violating the Nature Conservation Act. The NVWA raided the store for the first time on March 8th of this year and found 133 items made of endangered species leather. The owners were given three months to prove they obtained the leather legally. They could only do so for five pairs of shoes. 28 of the initially found items were no longer in the store when the NVWA came to seize the other items.

Leather from protected species can only be traded in the Netherlands if the animals were bred in the European Union or if the leather was imported in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Animals and Plant Species. If the owners of the store can come up with the correct documents for the seized items, the NVWA will return the items. Until then the NVWA assumes that the leather was illegally obtained.

The NVWA did not say which boutique was involved, but photos the NVWA showed in the press release look like it was Karmaloog, the Volkskrant reports. The very expensive store opened on Amsterdam's chic P.C. Hoofstraat in February. The store's facade was vandalized in March.