Sunday, 30 March 2014

Malagasy dismantles tortoise traffickers’ network - via Herp Digest

March 12, 2014 |  by- RIVONALA RAZAFISON, Daily Nation

Police intercepted one Malagasy man carrying protected tortoise species at the Antananarivo Ivato International Airport Tuesday.
The trafficker named Dominique Rasoanaivo, 45, was arrested as he prepared to board a flight to Tanzania.
The scanning of his luggage discovered 136 exotic tortoises.
“According to the information in our possession, the Tanzanian main city Dar es Salaam was his final destination via Nairobi,” Mr Ali Mohamed Randrianirisoa, head of the Migration Department Office, said.
The official stressed the man was part of the traffickers’ network of protected species in Madagascar.
He was allegedly linked with a Russian woman who was arrested last week at the Ivato airport when she wanted to take away dozens of reptiles from the rural areas of the country. Officials warned that they will take particular measures to stop any attempts to rob the national heritage from now.
Neighbouring airports of Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Mauritius are the most familiar hubs for protected species illegally transported from the island nation heading to Asian destinations.
Also, thanks to the international cooperation, the police in Malaysia and Thailand often seized banned animals from the island.
On the island nation, special stations like the Tortoise Village in Mangily Ifaty Toliara, south-western, have been operational for years to care for any animals which were prone to ill-treatment after being illegally removed from their natural habitat.

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