Fines totalling $15,000 have been levied against a Nanaimo man after he bought illegal bear gall bladders during an undercover operation.
According to John Blackman, Crown counsel, Fan Liu violated the B.C. Wildlife Act, pleading guilty to three counts of trafficking in bear parts.
The first incident occurred Dec. 12 last year, followed by incidents on Feb. 18 and March 18.
Liu was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine for the first count and $5,000 and $7,500 fines on the other two counts, said Blackman.
The total of $15,000 must be paid before Nov. 21, 2015, to the court in Nanaimo and all money will go to the non-profit Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for fish and wildlife conservation projects on Vancouver Island, he said.
Blackman said Liu bought the gall bladders from an undercover conservation officer, who approached Liu after receiving a tip. Liu was aware what he was doing was illegal, Blackman said.
There were also violations related to bear paws, but Blackman said in the end, those charges were stayed because of Liu’s willingness to plead guilty to the gall bladder counts.
Blackman said there was nothing to indicate that Liu sold or passed the bear parts to others.
“During the course of the three transactions, [Liu] had paid $1,320 to the undercover agent for these items and we got an order that that money is forfeited (to the provincial Crown), so he lost that money,” said Blackman.
Blackman said it was a fair resolution and the Crown has no concerns that Liu might violate the wildlife act again.
The hope is the severity of the penalty will deter others from committing the same acts, he said.