Shamed Fashionista Used Rare Breed Skins To Make Handbags

A top fashion designer whose leather purses were used in “Sex and the City” has been extradited to the U.S. to face charges of using the skins of rare animal breeds.

Disgraced Nancy Gonzalez – whose satchels sold for USD 10,000 (GBP 7,900) – was led to a flight from Bogota, Colombia, apparently in handcuffs by a posse of armed police.

The 78-year-old designer and two accomplices were filmed signing extradition documents and being fingerprinted before being led to the private flight to Florida.

Police footage shows Gonzalez bafflingly smiling at the camera as she is led to the plane on 30th August dressed head to toe in designer gear.

Footage shows Nancy Gonzalez with police in undated footage. She was extradited to the US for wildlife smuggling. (@FiscaliaCol/Newsflash)

Gonzalez had been on remand at a Colombian prison after she was arrested last year.

She is accused of importing and selling more than 200 caiman and python-skin bags in the US to celebrity clients including Victoria Beckham and Salma Hayek.

Some of the skins – say US prosecutors – were allegedly species that were either protected or in danger of extinction.

Her two co-accused – employees Diego Mauricio Rodriguez and Jhon Camilo Jaramillo – are said to have plotted to traffic the bags using smuggling mules.

The U.S. government filed an extradition request for Gonzalez with the Colombian government on 3rd August last year.

A Florida court accuses the designer from Cali of illegally importing and transporting wildlife to U.S. territory and defrauding the country.

When officers arrested Gonzalez, they found she was in possession of several handbags made from python skin and a football made from caiman skin.

In a joint investigation with European authorities, Colombian police discovered she had illegally acquired skins from endangered animals, including snakes and deer.

Picture shows designer Nancy Gonzalez (right), undated. She was extradited to the US for wildlife smuggling. (Newsflash)

She had intended to use the skins – police say – to make luxury handbags.

Between 2016 and 2019, Gonzalez allegedly sent handbags, purses, and wallets to the U.S. via individuals in and around Cali who acted as mules.

According to the American authorities, the designer and her accomplices instructed the mules to claim the items were gifts for family or friends if any problems arose.

But – says the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida – the luxury items were, in fact, sent to exclusive stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

Gonzalez’s extradition to America was personally signed for by Colombian President Gustavo Petro.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: William McGeeSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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