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Author Topic: Another WA Reptile Bust  (Read 995 times)

Offline adderboy

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Another WA Reptile Bust
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:49:08 AM »
Hi, all.  Another one...

Four foreigners charged over illegal export of WA native wildlife

Four foreigners have been charged over the attempted trafficking of hundreds of Western Australian native animals.

Two men from Russia and two from the Czech Republic were arrested at Perth International Airport by Customs officers on February 6.

The arrests followed the discovery of reptiles allegedly hidden in hollowed-out books and cigarette packets in packages posted from Carnarvon, Tom Price, Geraldton and Perth to Europe.

Two of the men also allegedly had reptiles hidden in their luggage at the airport.

There were 157 reptiles and amphibians in the haul, including skinks, geckos, frogs, pygmy pythons, a dead death adder, a number of invertebrates and 33 dead reptiles that appear to have been tagged for use as specimens.

The men face charges under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Western Australia's Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

Customs WA manager Vesna Watt warned the men faced significant penalties for attempting to export wildlife, if found guilty.

"These arrests should serve as a warning to those looking to illegally exploit Australia's natural fauna," she said.

"Customs and Border Protection takes these matters seriously and those caught could face up to 10 years in prison."

During a separate Parks and Wildlife operation on February 5, a total of 92 reptiles were found at Broome, Derby and New South Wales post offices, and in a vehicle intercepted in Broome by WA Police.

A West Australian man and two from NSW could face more than 90 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Senior wildlife officer Rick Dawson said the two incidents represented a major breakthrough.

"Together, more than 240 native species have been prevented from leaving the state in the space of a week," Mr Dawson said.

"Posting animals in packages and secreting them in luggage is not only illegal but cruel and inhumane - more than 20 of the reptiles were either dead by the time these parcels were intercepted, or have since died."

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-16/four-foreigners-charged-over-illegal-export-of-native-wildlife/6116510


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