AN investigation initiated by SEPRONA the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil has resulted in the arrest of 11 people charged with trafficking in protected species.
The operation has been in place for one year after it was alleged that a number of primates whose sale under the CITES agreement was illegal were being offered on a selection of internet sites.
Those responsible were believed to be operating out of Alicante, Granada, Jaen and Sevilla and the SEPRONA office in Malaga City was detailed to control the operation.
In the event, officers managed to stop a number of sales and to rescue five marmosets as well as one tamarind estimated to be worth in excess of €12,500 on the black market.
Additionally, one of the accused was trying to obtain €3,000 for a pair of marmosets which he didn’t even have, so he is to be charged with attempted fraud.
When the animals were recovered and passed to a veterinary centre in Malaga and a zoo in Fuengirola, they were found to be in a poor state having been kept in unsanitary conditions but have now recovered and are settled in the APP Primadomus Foundation Center for rescue of exotic animals in Alicante.