Home News German nationals arrested in NC for illegally catching and trading in reptiles

German nationals arrested in NC for illegally catching and trading in reptiles

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Dagga and other drugs were also confiscated during the arrest in the Northern Cape.

File image: Pixabay

TWO GERMAN nationals are expected to appear in court on Monday following their arrest near Askham in the Northern Cape for the illegal trade and possession of reptiles and controlled substances.

The men were arrested on Friday in a multi-agency undercover operation comprising the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE) Green Scorpions and the Hawks, assisted by the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre, the police, SANParks environmental crime inspectors, the Northern Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and the private sector.

“The men were nabbed while illegally catching and trading in reptiles, including armadillo girdled lizards which are a threatened and protected species, geckos and tortoises in the Northern Cape with the intention to smuggle them out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade,” the DFFE said in a statement.

All South African tortoises and some of the lizards are listed by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the international trade in these species.

Dagga and other drugs were also confiscated during the arrest.

“The collaboration by all members of the multidisciplinary team is to be commended. Without the dedication of the Green Scorpions, members of the security establishment, provincial officials and the private sector, we will not be able to win the war against wildlife crime,” DFFE said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the regional court on Monday.

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