By Chris King • 18 October 2021 • 21:56
Guardia Civil arrest gang suspected of illegal trafficking of protected turtles.
image: guardia civil
As if it were a drug trafficking organisation, a Barcelona court, the Guardia Civil, and the Rural Police Unit, are all involved in investigating a criminal network suspected of the alleged illegal trafficking into Spain of protected turtles. These creatures are believed to have been exported from far-flung exotic countries, such as Mauritius, and the Seychelles.
Just like a surveillance operation that might be carried out against other criminal gangs, this case has reportedly involved telephone taps and the checking of telephone records of those suspected of being a part of this illegal scheme.
It is thought that the turtles were not only marketed in Spain, but also in various other countries in Europe, moving significant amounts of money in the process. One of these rare creatures can apparently be worth as much as €10,000.
Eight people have reportedly been charged so far. An intricately planned operation saw the criminals using documentation belonging to dead animals or offspring born in captivity. This way they could ‘whitewash’ the rare specimens and be able to sell them.
The court is reportedly hoping to build a big enough case against the group to be able to charge them not only with smuggling protected animals but to also that of belonging to a criminal organisation, as reported by elperidodico.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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