Police break up Spanish ring selling endangered turtles

2018-08-24 07:58
A Guardia Civil officer shows turtles seized in Mallorca, Spain. (Guardia Civil via AP)

A Guardia Civil officer shows turtles seized in Mallorca, Spain. (Guardia Civil via AP)

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Spanish police have shut down what they believe to be Europe's biggest illegal turtle farm, selling endangered species worth 10 000 euros ($11 500) each.

Police in Mallorca seized around 1 100 turtles and 750 eggs, including specimens of 14 of the 50 most endangered species in the world, Europol, the European law enforcement agency, said on Thursday.

Some of the protected species came from the United States, Canada and Mexico, it said.

Europol says the operation began 18 months ago when authorities seized an illegal shipment of turtles at Mallorca airport. That discovery led them to the farm.

A pet shop in Barcelona specialising in exotic animals was used to smuggle the turtles out of Spain.

Europol says it coordinated information on the operation from other EU countries, including Austria, France, Germany and Italy.

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Read more on:    spain  |  endangered species
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