German nationals arrested for illegal trade and possession of reptiles in Northern Cape
21 November 2021
Two German nationals have been arrested near Askam in the Northern Cape for the illegal trade and possession of reptiles and controlled substances.
The men were arrested on 19 November 2021 as a result of a multi-agency reptile undercover operation comprising the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s 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.
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 multi-disciplinary 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.
The suspects will appear in the regional court on Monday, 22 November 2021.
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