Slovak police, in cooperation with colleagues from Austria and Germany, have seized the highest number of smuggled eggs of exotic birds in the history of the European Union. The smuggled consignment contained 74 eggs of Amazonian parrots of critically endangered species and have been placed under the strictest protection, the SITA newswire wrote.
The police allege that Marián P. and Roland P. from Nitra Region wanted to transport them from Jamaica to Slovakia and subsequently sell them to clients across Europe. Their potential profit could have been between €280,000 and €1 million, or more. The police have charged them with violation of the law on flora and fauna protection and if convicted they face a prison term of one to five years. If they are proved to be part of an organised group, the sentence can be extended to three to eight years.
The seized eggs were taken to a zoo at Schonbrunn in Vienna and 54 parrots have since hatched. The international police operation was initiated by Nitra Regional Police, who learned that Marián P. and Roland P. had travelled to the Caribbean island with the aim of purchasing the eggs of protected birds.
Nitra Regional Police director Pavol Šramek told a media conference on Tuesday, May 10, that both the alleged smugglers are known among parrot breeders in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, the Sme daily reported
Sources: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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