Wildlife trafficking has a new modality, the encomienda. A new case was registered in Bogotá when 23 live tarantulas were being sent to South Korea.
So far in the last two years, more than 1,040 wild specimens have already been seized in Bogotá alone.
On this occasion, the spiders were hidden in plastic jars, camouflaged in cereal boxes.
The sender, who was identified as Yan Jin Hyung, a Korean citizen, intended to illegally transport the tarantulas from Bogotá to the city of Seoul. In addition, it was he who appeared as the recipient of the package, which caught the attention of the authorities.
The illegal shipment with the spiders was detected by the authorities through a scanner in the loading area of the El Dorado airport. The workers of the international parcel company immediately notified the Airport Police, as well as the Bogotá Mayor's Office, which handled the case through the District Secretary for the Environment.
The black market value of tarantulas, belonging to the Xenesthis and Pamphobeteus species, can reach $ 200 per unit and unfortunately they have become fashionable in several countries such as, especially, Asians, as collectibles or to dissect
“This is an environmental crime, to remove the fauna from our territory to be sold on other continents. Fortunately we have a specialized team and through the El Dorado airport scanners we have managed to detect these beautiful specimens of live tarantulas, some of them with eggs, "said Francisco Cruz, Bogotá's District Secretary for the Environment, who stated that this type of traffic does not It is only a crime, but it creates an imbalance in the ecosystems. He warned that those who traffic, buy or sell wildlife will receive the punishment of the law.
“There is a recurring modality in Colombia which is the encomienda, international citizens send animals through this system to other countries where they can be trafficked. We turn to international collaboration to find wildlife traffickers, as this crime is transcending our borders, ”said the official.
Meanwhile, the District Secretary for the Environment began the environmental sanctioning process, which can reach fines of up to 3,600 million pesos established by Law 1333 of 2009, since the distribution of this type of fauna in Colombia and Venezuela is prohibited.
The animals were in the custody and care of the District Institute for Animal Protection.
With information from: