The Civil Guard intervenes in a farm in Sant Vicenç de Montalt reptiles classified as protected species

3 people have been arrested and 21 turtles, three crocodiles, two python snakes and a chameleon have been seized, classified as protected animals

The inclusion of these reptiles in the natural environment, some classified as invasive species, would seriously endanger the survival of other indigenous varieties.

The criminal organization illegally imported protected exotic animals into Spain to sell them to individuals

The Civil Guard has carried out the Euler operation, in which 3 people belonging to a criminal organization dedicated to trafficking in protected species have been arrested, intervening 21 turtles, three crocodiles, two python snakes and a chameleon, classified as protected animals and invasive species by the CITES convention.

The investigation began at the beginning of 2019, when the Civil Guard detected a Spanish citizen at the Josep Tarradellas-El Prat airport who had arrived in Barcelona on a flight from the Seychelles and who was intervened, camouflaged inside of his luggage, 76 live baby Aldabra Giant tortoises.

For this reason, agents of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Civil Guard began an investigation with the aim of determining the possible fate of these turtle hatchlings, taking into account that the significant number of hatchlings intervened indicated that it was an illegal trade in protected species for trade.

As a result of the investigations, the agents located an illegal zoo nucleus for which they proceeded to identify the people who are members of the network dedicated to the illegal trafficking of protected species.

For this reason, the Civil Guard proceeded to carry out a search in a farm in the Barcelona town of Sant Vicenç de Montalt, whose facility was prepared to store and preserve a large number and variety of exotic animals maintaining a certain temperature and humidity, equipped with numerous terrariums, light bulbs of different intensities and a large freezer where they stored chickens to feed the animals.

A significant number of live animals were seized on the farm, 19 turtles (Trochemys Scripta), two turtles (Centrochelys Sulcata), two snakes (Aspidites Ramsavi), a chameleon (Chamaleo Callyptratus) and three crocodiles (Crocodylus Siamensis), which in collaboration With personnel from the Official Export Inspection, Surveillance and Regulation Service (SOIVRE), it was determined that they were invasive species and species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Three people of Spanish nationality were arrested for the alleged commission of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, crime against wildlife, smuggling and falsification of documents.

The animals were deposited in a specialized center where they recover and develop optimally.

The proceedings ordered by the Civil Guard were made available to the Investigating Court No. 5 and the Barcelona Environmental Prosecutor's Office.

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