Narwhal whales are sometimes called ‘unicorns of the sea’ because of their long spiralling tusks.

Narwhal whales are sometimes called ‘unicorns of the sea’ because of their long spiralling tusks.
Photo Credit: Mario Cyr

Canadian admits money laundering in narwhal smuggling scheme

A retired police officer pleaded guilty to 10 money-laundering charges in the United States yesterday after being convicted and fined in Canada for smuggling narwhal whale tusks. Gregory R. Logan faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 for each of count of money-laundering.

Logan was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when he began smuggling tusks into the United States. He transported 250 tusks valued at $1.5 to $3 million into the state of Maine in false compartments in his trailer.

Narwhals protected in both countries

Male narwhal whales grow a long, spiral tooth that can be almost three metres. The so-called tusks are a collectors’ item. The whales themselves are medium sized and are protected by both the U.S. and Canada.

In Canada in 2013, Logan was convicted on seven counts related to illegal wildlife smuggling. He was fined $385,000 and given an eight-month conditional sentence.  He was later extradited to the U.S. to face money-laundering charges connected to the scheme.

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