PostedOctober 27, 2021, 4:10 PM
French police say they have arrested 17 people and seized more than 280 animals – some protected – with a total value exceeding 125,000 euros.
Significant reptile trafficking was dismantled last week in the French West Indies, allowing 283 animals to be seized and 17 people arrested, authorities said on Wednesday.
The value of all the specimens seized on these two French Caribbean islands (pythons, boas, monitor lizards, geckos, lizards, etc.), including protected species, “is estimated at more than 125,000 euros”. Police said in a statement Wednesday.
Some specimens have been placed in an approved structure while others, such as the endemic scorpions of Martinique, have been released into their natural environment.
The arrested delinquents “incur a penalty of up to three years imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros. Some individuals have already been convicted recently for similar facts, ”the statement said.
Endemic endangered species
The departmental services of Martinique and Guadeloupe have been working for a year and a half in joint referral with the financial judicial investigation service, with the aim of dismantling this reptile trafficking, a growing phenomenon in the French Antilles.
By fighting against the trafficking of species of wild fauna, through the control of their possession and trade, agents “participate in stopping the erosion of biodiversity by limiting the spread of invasive alien species in the natural environment, which is a of size on these islands ”, recalls the text.
In fact, in French islands such as Guadeloupe and Martinique, certain reptiles from South America can find biological conditions to survive, with the risk of causing heritage species to disappear, thus creating an ecological imbalance.