[meteorite-list] Illegal Trade In Meteorites In Australia

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:14 2004
Message-ID: <200110290308.TAA17073_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Illegal trade in shooting stars falling to earth in Australia
October 28, 2001

Shooting stars falling to earth in Australia are being sold on by

The rocks, often found on the Nullarbor Plain, can be worth up to 3,000
times their weight in gold.

Even though it is an offence to sell the meteors, hunters are not
deterred by the five year jail terms and massive fines.

All meteorites found in Australia are protected by the Federal Protection
of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act.

"They sell for big money these days and it is just too tempting for some
people," Vic Gostin, of Adelaide University, told news.com.au. "It's
basically stealing."

Dealers often break meteorites into fragments, selling the pieces for
between 10 a gram and, in rare cases, more than 21,000 a gram.
Received on Sun 28 Oct 2001 10:08:39 PM PST

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