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The Civil Guard intervenes several pieces of ivory and ebony in Torre Pacheco (09/10/2017)

Complaints have been made to the holder for alleged infringements of the rules on the import, export, trade, holding or movement of specimens, protected fauna and flora under the CITES Convention (1)

The effects intervened have been deposited in the regional offices of Customs and Special Taxes of Murcia

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, under the 'Plan to eradicate illegal trade in protected species', has developed in Torre Pacheco the operation 'AJEDREZ', which has culminated in the seizure of 37 pieces of African ivory and one ebony mask

the person intending to sell them has been denounced for alleged infringements of the rules on import, export, trade, holding or movement of specimens, protected fauna and flora under the CITES Convention (1).

The investigation began when agents of the Civil Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Civil Guard detected the alleged sale of decorative pieces, made with tusks of African elephant, whose commercialization is regulated as a species in serious danger of extinction.

The investigations carried out led the civil guards to the municipality of Torre Pacheco, where the place where the sale was supposed to materialize.

The agents moved to a public parking lot and located a person who was offering the objects to an alleged buyer.

In that act, the Civil Guard seized 37 pieces.

It is a chess piece carved on African elephant tusk and an ebony wood mask.

The owner of the effects has not been able to provide documentation to prove his legal tenure, so that records have been prepared for alleged violations of the rules on import, export, trade, possession or circulation of specimens, protected fauna and flora in the agreement CITES (1).

The seized pieces have been deposited in the regional offices of Customs and Special Taxes of Murcia.

They are made on African elephant tusk that make up the pieces of a chess, from which it is studied its origin (African or Asian), as well as whether it is hollow or solid ivory, all of which would determine its final price in the illicit market, which so far is estimated in thousands of euros.

The ebony mask, in turn, is protected by the CITES agreement, in the section of hardwood species, in a reinforcement to stop the increase of illegal timber trade.

Cross-border shipments must be accompanied by documentation certifying the origin of the products.

The AJEDREZ operation has culminated in the seizure of 37 pieces of ivory and an ebony mask and the processing of its records for infractions of the regulations on import, export, trade, possession or circulation of specimens, fauna and flora protected under the CITES agreement (1).

The Civil Guard recalls that the fight against illegal trafficking of protected species contributes to alleviate its poaching aimed primarily at international trade and seeks to preserve its conservation through official permits.

(1) The CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to which Spain has been a party since 16 May 1986, regulates trade in endangered species and seeks to preserve them through official export permits in the country of origin and of importation in the destination country, so that any copy covered by this agreement is fully documented and the origin, destination and reason for which it is traded are known.

Source: Ministerio del Interior

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