Transportation of Baby Eels from Endangered Species was Stopped at Sofia Airport (Photos)

Crime | February 19, 2019, Tuesday // 14:46|  views

An attempt to cheat customs through the illegal export of a critically endangered European eel Anguilla Anguilla was prevented at Sofia Airport on February 15, the Customs Agency reported today.

Aerial shipment to Malaysia of 1010 kg was suspended for a rigorous check by the "risk analysis" method by customs inspectors from the General Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation, Aviocontrol sector and customs officers from Southwest TD.
The 90 styrofoam containers containing millions of specimens have been declared in the customs documents as "carp and silver carp for harvesting". The inspection found that the containers contained 200 kg. alive specimens with size of 7-8 cm. Customs officials informed the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) in Sofia, where they confirmed that it was the critically endangered European eel Anguilla Anguilla. These eels are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

According to the initial data, the shipment has arrived from another European country and is marked by the container that has been sent by a company authorized to catch. However, the containers were advertised with another type of commodity, which is a customs violation.
Babies-eels were transported urgently with the help of Green Balkans at the Rescue Center of the Aquarium in Varna in an attempt to save them. In the export attempt they were packed in conditions unfavorable to the species.

Anguilla Anguilla eels are of great commercial value because the price of small eels on the Asian markets reaches $ 2,000 per kilogram.

A case involving detained eels of the same type at Sofia Airport was also in early 2015, when customs officials detained over 2 million specimens in the same development phase, traveling as checked baggage in eight containers from Madrid to Sofia.

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