Significant reptile trafficking was dismantled in the West Indies last week by the environmental police services of the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) and the judicial customs, allowing 283 animals to be seized and arrested 17 people.
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", indicated the police departments in a statement on Wednesday.
Some species released
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.
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 (SEJF), with the aim of dismantling this reptile trafficking, a growing phenomenon in the West Indies.
Limit the spread of invasive alien species
By combating the trafficking of species of wild fauna, by controlling their possession and trade, OFB agents "help to stop the erosion of biodiversity by limiting the spread of invasive alien species ( EEA) in a natural environment, a major stake on these islands ”, recalls the text.
Indeed, in islands such as Guadeloupe and Martinique, some reptiles from South America can find biological conditions to survive, with the risk of causing heritage species to disappear, thus creating an ecological imbalance.
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