Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Man Arrested For ‘Selling Smuggled Reptiles From Hotel Room Pet Shop’ - Herp Digest

Yahoo News, December 15, 2015

A man has been arrested after allegedly running a ‘pop-up’ pet shop selling reptiles from his hotel room. 
A police raid in Essen, Germany recovered more than 130 protected species of chameleons, geckos, salamanders, tortoises and toads. 
Within a day of the raid, the haul grew after one of the salamanders gave birth to nine babies. 
The unnamed man, from Ukraine, said he had built up the collection by purchasing them online. 
More than 130 protected species of reptile were found (CEN)
He allegedly kept in touch with customers by sending out a newsletter.  
However, police said he needed a special licence to sell any of the animals. 
A spokesman for the German customs officials, Hans-Joachim Brandl, said all of the recovered animals were endangered species, and that the they had a value of at least €30,000 (£21,827). 
The man had come to the area to cash in on the enthusiasts visiting the local Terraristikmesse exhibition that takes place annually in Hamm. 
The collection was broken up and distributed among zoos in Dortmund, Duisburg, Cologne and Dusseldorf where they are set to be well looked after under more suitable conditions. 
A legal case has also been ordered against the man over illegal trafficking in animals. 
Brandl added: “We are always delighted about every example of a protected species that because of our work ends up back in the proper hands where they can be carefully cared for.”

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