OFFICERS from Seprona, the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil have confiscated 1,247 boxes of games in Las Palmas as they contain an alien species of crustacean.
According to the authorities, an educational game was found to include a tiny freshwater crustacean which resembles a type of crab but no information was given on the box as to its origins and when officers undertook checks, it was identified as Triops Longicaudatus, a native of North and South America.
Having identified the fact that this was considered an invasive species which had the potential to spread and reproduce quickly if introduced into Spanish waters, it was decided that the game should be banned from sale.
Officers quickly discovered that a large number of the games had been distributed to shops in Las Palmas and they therefore had to visit all potential stockists of the game and confiscate any stocks held.
278 boxes were discovered in the shops and a further 969 in a number of warehouses and it is hoped that the majority of the offending games have now been found and will be dealt with by the Ministry of Environment of the Canary Islands.
The introduction of invasive species is considered to be a major problem in all of Europe and in Spain anyone convicted of the offence can face a sentence of up to 24 months, a fine and a disqualification from trade for up to three years.