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Canberra student who sold primate skull to Pirates of the Caribbean fined $5,500

Canberra student who sold primate skull to Pirates of the Caribbean fined $5,500

2018-02-08, Sources

A Canberra student who sold a primate skull to the makers of Pirates of the Caribbean movie has been fined $5,500 for illegally possessing endangered species specimens.

Brent Philip Counsell, 28, pleaded guilty to 14 charges, which also included illegally importing specimens.

The ACT Magistrates court heard he ran an online business trading in the specimens, some of which he bought from an Indonesian contact, and others from online trading site eBay.

The court heard one primate skull was sold to the makers of American fantasy swashbuckler franchise Pirates of the Caribbean.

The offences were in breach of an international convention that is aimed at ensuring the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

It is illegal in Australia to possess and import species listed under this convention without a permit.

Counsell's lawyer Bridget Dunne told the court Counsell had a passion for collecting since he was a child.

Prices for the skulls listed on his website, and detailed in the statement of facts, ranged from $180 for one monkey skull to $480 for a common buzzard specimen, which he said he imported from Germany.

Other items included a primate skull threaded on a necklace and two striped water monitor skulls.

Canberra student Primate skull Pirates of the Caribbean

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