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Foreigners arrested over exotic animals

26 February 2012 02:15 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan authorities arrested six foreign nationals on charges of illegally holding amphibians and reptiles only found on the island, an official said on Sunday.
 
Wildlife department inspectors arrested the men on Saturday and they were later released on bail of 50,000 rupees (ê430) each and ordered to appear in court on Wednesday.
 
The official, who declined to be named, said the men from Australia, Belgium, Germany and Venezuela visited the Singharaja rain forest, a bio-diversity hotspot, and were accused of capturing frogs, tortoises and lizards.
 
They were part of a tour led by Exo-Terra, an organisation that says it is the "market leader in reptile products." There was no immediate comment from the organisation.
Wildlife officials said the men were arrested in the northwestern town of Puttalam and were about to leave the country.
 
Possessing exotic plants and animals can be punished with fines of up to ê430 for each animal or plant along with a jail term of up to five years. (Source: AFP)

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  Comments - 3

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  • Serge Parijs Monday, 05 March 2012 08:01 AM

    Arun and Undertaker,

    Serious? What do you know about this case? Apparently nothing at all! I know one of the victims of your country's over ambitious wildlife officers personally for over 30 years! I know his involvement in conservation. He travelled to many 3rd world countries like yours, but never experienced an ordeal like in Sri Lanka. You should be ashamed to react brainless like you both just did!

    Cheers,

    SP

    ARUN TAMPOE Monday, 27 February 2012 01:27 AM

    this is very serious.... one wonders how many local organizations are involved in such trafficking or smuggling in the guise of tourism. Our country has such a small land area by comparison to Africa, India etc and can hardly afford to lose our indigenous species even for legitimate purposes.

    the Undertaker Monday, 27 February 2012 04:30 AM

    WE SHOULD BLAME OUR IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY TO GIVE ARRIVAL VISA TO EVERY TOM/DICK AND HARRY - SHOULD REST THE CULPRITS IN PIECES IN JAIL FOREVER


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