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A top trend designer was arrested in her dwelling region of Colombia and faces U.S. extradition after she allegedly smuggled crocodile handbags into the United States, in accordance to Colombian prosecutors.
Nancy Gonzalez was arrested in her hometown of Cali, Colombia, and faces rates in the U.S. Southern District of Florida that could consequence in up to 25 many years in jail and a $500,000 fine. The handbags can sell for up to $10,000 in designer stores in the United States and Europe.
Gonzalez designed components that have been applied by characters in the “Sex and the Metropolis” Tv set series, as nicely as other celebrities.
It is authorized to sell some crocodile skins, even though the needed certificate can be high priced and hard to receive.
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In accordance to U.S. and Colombian investigators, Gonzalez smuggled hundreds of handbags by having to pay airplane travellers to carry them in their individual luggage on flights to the United States. She instructed them to say that the luggage have been items for their family if they have been questioned by customs agents.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Assistance investigators explained in 2019 that as many as 12 people today, every single carrying 4 handbags, boarded a solitary flight to the United States. The roundtrip plane tickets had been all funded by Gonzalez.
Gonzalez commenced out by making belts prior to moving to handbag profits in 1998, when she was urged to create up a selection by a designer retail outlet executive. Her function debuted in the United States at luxury division store Bergdorf Goodman.
She has also viewed her get the job done featured in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York in 2008.
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Britney Spears, Victoria Beckham and Salma Hayek are among the celebrities to have reportedly obtained Gonzalez’s purses. It continues to be unclear no matter whether these celebrities’ purses have been integrated in those allegedly smuggled into the United States.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.