Agents of the Environment Unit of the Municipal Police of Madrid they have seized 19 specimens of animals that were exposed inside lunch boxes for illegal sale in a parking lot near the Glass Pavilion of the Casa de Campo where the International Fair of Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates and Small Mammals, Expoterraria, took place on the 17th.
This action, which is part of an international operation against the illicit trade in protected species, allowed a total of 19 live species to be seized, mainly reptiles, chameleons and snakes, which were exposed for sale in a parking lot and inside tupperwares, a spokesman for the Municipal Police has informed Europa Press.
Of these, four species are listed in the International Convention CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of animals and plants wild does not constitute a threat to the survival of the species.
Thus, the herpetologist of the Complutense University of Madrid was consulted to proceed to the exact description of them. In the rest of the species not contemplated in this agreement, their commercialization is not allowed outside the official channels, as was the case.
drone air support
The operation was launched when detecting in the aerial surveillance carried out by the Air Support Section of the Madrid Municipal Police within the framework of the celebration of this fair possible illegal activities in one of the parking lots near it, explained sources of this Body.
Specifically, from the viewfinders of the drones, the agents were able to verify that a group of people gathered around one of the parked vehicles and exchanged plastic containers with what could be some animal species inside in exchange for money.
Agents from the Environment Unit immediately went to the scene and verified how the acquisition of one of these animals was being carried out. Thus, agents arrested a Spanish citizen as responsible for the sale. Likewise, they managed to determine that one of the buyers had moved from Portugal to purchase the specimens with a vehicle registered in the Portuguese country.
Thus, proceedings were carried out before the Central Operational Unit for the Environment (UCOMA) of the Nature Protection Service UCOMA-Seprona, Gima 1, for an alleged crime against the trafficking of species.
All the seized species were handed over and in the custody of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge at the FIEB Research Center (Foundation for Research in Ethology and Biodiversity).