Wildlife Trafficking

The Spanish Civil Guard detains 77 people in the fight against the illegal trafficking of wild species and protected wood

The Spanish Civil Guard has developed the so-called Operation THUNDER 2022, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, carrying out a series of inspections and investigations throughout the national territory aimed at prosecuting the illegal trafficking of wild species and protected wood. During this operation, which has the support of Interpol and the World Customs Organization, the main mission is the fight against the possession and commercialization of species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). ), as well as those native to Spain that enjoy special protection in our country.

Within this framework, the Nature Protection Service, together with the Fiscal and Border Service of the Civil Guard, has carried out more than 2,200 inspections and controls in customs areas, airports, ports, as well as in zoos, taxidermy and antique dealers. As a result of these, 202 administrative offenses have been detected.

Among these, it is worth noting the detection of 39 infractions within the framework of the EUTR Regulation, which mainly regulates the timber trade in Europe; and more than 100 infractions related to the CITES Convention due to irregularities in the documentation of origin of the inspected specimens, or the absence of permits for the possession of certain species.

On the other hand, a large number of criminal investigations have been initiated, many of them concluding with the arrest of persons whose illegal conduct was classified as a criminal offense. In total, 77 people have been arrested and investigated for the alleged commission of criminal offenses related to the trafficking of protected species. Many of them are linked to the possession and sale of species included in the CITES Convention, while others have been classified as crimes against flora and fauna, especially for actions related to the sale of protected native species, as well as other crimes. related, such as documentary falsehoods in the documents that covered the specimens.

All these actions have led to the seizure of 677 specimens of different species, as