Miguel del Pino: Operation Jungle against the “green gold”

With the term “green Gold” is usually qualify to the vast amount of money generated by the smuggling of wild animals and plants across the borders of developed countries. These natural treasures from paradise exotic they sold their nature to try to remedy his poverty.

In addition to involving the danger of extinction for species subject to traffic, which in many cases are found in a situation of serious risk in this sense, this sad trade are not even supposed to an economic relief to the native hunters, as the “lion’s share” is shared between the networks of brokers and traffickers.

We’re not talking about an issue of importance exclusively scientific, as the smuggling of flora and fauna that rivals the amount general with the trafficking of arms and drugs; usually occupies the third place in this black list, but in some periods of time comes to overcome them.

The imbalance in the distribution of benefits reaches almost always to outrageous proportions: let us remember that in the past few years seventy and eighty, when the large macaws were hunted down in the jungles of the amazon, not having been developed yet breeding in captivity, a specimen of Ara ararauna or its cousin brother, the Ara macao (macaws blue and red respectively), caught in the market equivalent to the current thousand euros, while the indian hunter was rewarded with just ten or twenty cents.

It is not only animals or living plants; also its remains, as well as the objects made with shells of hawksbill turtle or elephant ivory or hippopotamus, were subject to active traffic. Not only does the world of pets illegal, but also the assortment of materials of ornament or decoration are focused on attacks to the nature.

The trickery and the ingredients called “chinese medicine” had been a dripping, unstoppable deaths of animals of different protected species. The “bear moon” asian Tibet (Selenarctos tibetanus), so named because of the white design in the shape of a half moon that occurs in the breast zone its black fur, are depleted or raised in miserable conditions to get periodically their bile, to which are attributed illusory healing properties against several diseases.

A separate chapter assumes the case of the horned nose of a rhino: the oriental markets attributed to the powder of keratin derived from its grinding some aphrodisiac properties miraculous, so that wealthy elderly people of those countries are capable of paying fortunes to recover the lost youth so absurd.

The traffic of the powder of rhino horn has not only claimed lives of the pachyderm, but also human: in the african reserves, the guards fired at the poachers, and in zoos and museums of Europe there are to take monitoring measures to prevent the actions of criminal networks that challenge with its actions, the imagination of the greatest writer of novels: unbelievable but true.

Operation Jungle

On previous occasions I have already mentioned in these digital pages to the “green gold” but on this occasion, the theme returns today with a new cause for action of the Seprona against the mafias and the trafficking of species which has received the name of “Operation Jungle”

In this operating have produced nine arrests and is investigating several other people, all of them allegedly involved in a network of illegal trafficking of protected species, many of them of great rarity and uniqueness that justifies their high price.

The group of reptiles, with more than 600 copies confiscated figure to the head of the seizures. They are species from Africa, Asia, America and Oceania. Those arrested are accused of crimes against the fauna, smuggling, membership in a criminal organization, falsehood, documentary and animal abuse.

Some of the species object of this network of traffickers were the rare “Iguana fiji”, from the islands to give a name and in serious danger of extinction, the lizards of the genus Uromastyx, several monitor lizards and chameleons and also turtles of great value, as the Terrapene nelsoni, from Mexico.

The amount of the seized animals has not been calculated yet, but could reach six-figure salaries; the network that introduced in the EU was trying to disguise the specimens captured in nature as if they come from the breeding legal in captivity, and to do this they had expert forgers of certificates.

This type of trade, criminal and fraudulent, it hurts very badly to the associations of the study and breeding of exotic animals for your legal marketing with the corresponding “roles”. Only the very experienced can distinguish the small details of morphology and behavior that almost always differ from the household of the captured, that multiplies the difficulty of the research.

Just need to congratulate once more to the Seprona by the effectiveness of their research, which in this case began with the arrest in an airport Dutch of three Spanish citizens who were carrying in their bags 200 specimens valued at € 150,000.

“Operation Jungle” is the one that sheds the greater the volume, economic and scientific, of all of this type developed in Spain.

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