The Deputy Environmental Agricultural Prosecutor and the Judicial Investigation Agency of Costa Rica have carried out an international operation on trafficking wildlife destined for the European Union. The operation took place in Guápiles, as well as in several homes and in a butterfly garden in Uvita, Puntarenas, on 20 November.
The research has had the collaboration of several European countries through the Jaguar network which was created in 2018 thanks to the European EL PAcCTO programme. According to research, shipments to Europe were carried out monthly through the postal service in groups of 4 and 700 species were already dead. The recipient countries would have been Germany, France and Holland, with connections to other European countries.
During the operation, 5 raids were carried out and 4 people were arrested who are suspected of illegally exporting protected species such as butterflies, beetles, spiders and wasps to Europe. According to sources from the Public Ministry, investigators and the prosecution presume that since March 2018 defendants would have been selling these species on the European black market, at an approximate amount of €1,000 each.
The Jaguar network comprises police officers specialised in environmental crimes who belong to operational services in various countries of Latin America and the European Union. Jaguar was created within the framework of the technical support that Latin American countries are provided with by the European Union’s EL PAcCTO Programme, EUROPOL and the EU Member States.