They seize more than 1,000 stuffed animals for smuggling in Bétera (Valencia)

Agents of the Civil Guard They have seized this Sunday a total of 1,090 stuffed animals in the municipality of Bétera (Valencia), destined for smuggling and valued at more than 29 million euros. The largest discovery of protected species at the national level and one of the largest in Europe.

Of the specimens found, 405 belonged to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), some of them even extinct, such as the “oryx dammah”, or practically extinct such as the “addax” or the tiger of flare, as reported by the Civil Guard.

After this discovery, in an enclosure of more than 50,000 square meters, a person has been investigated for the alleged crimes of smuggling and another related to the protection of flora and fauna.

The operation, called VALCITES and carried out by the Nature Protection Team of the Valencia Civil Guard Command, began last November, when the agents became aware of a possible private collection of animal specimens in the area municipality of Betera.

1,090 stuffed animals seized for smuggling in Bétera (Valencia).

The agents located a ship in said municipality of more than 50,000 square meters, which contained a house and two other ships inside, where 1,090 stuffed animals were found.

Among the specimens, animals with various levels of protection were found, such as the cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow leopard or white rhinoceros, and 198 pieces of large ivory elephant tusks.

In the next phase of the operation, the agents will proceed to analyze all the documentation provided by the author to justify the possession of the aforementioned pieces.

The inspectors and facultative technicians of the Technical Unit of the Headquarters of the Nature Protection Service and members of the Legal Institute and Forensic Sciences have collaborated in the operation, which thanks to the Integrated System of Management and Control of Quality and the Environment have been able to identify the protected species.


Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.

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