From what The Hunting Report and John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force could learn, all the trophies in question had hunting licenses that were issued for the month of April 2008, which does not correspond with the appropriate hunting season dates for Marco Polo. The question that the Tajik authorities had not cleared up was whether this was only a typographical error or some other problem. There may also be a problem with re-export permits.
Some of the trophies in question had been in limbo for more than 45 days, and USFWS agents in Chicago had already begun official seizures there. Although one shipping forwarder I spoke with thought the Service would allow the hunters to return shipments for re-export, John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force says that if the Service decides the shipments are illegal due to invalid hunting licenses they are more likely not only to confiscate the trophies but also prosecute the hunters for Lacey Act violations.
We are still investigating this matter, and exactly as we were going to press, we heard that the Tajik authorities had sent USFWS a letter addressing the issue with the licenses. Hopefully, this entire situation will have been resolved by the time you read this. If it has not been sorted out, then US hunters will need to put their Marco Polo trophy shipments from Tajikistan on hold and leave them in the country of origin until this situation is cleared up. Doing that will allow affected hunters to avoid innumerable hassles, including possible Lacey Act prosecution as charges for that violation can only be applied upon the import of the trophy. Affected hunters will also need to determine whether their CITES permits or US import permits are about........(continued)