On the 11th September 2023, a Dutch national was found guilty in the Malta Law Courts for having attempted to export from Malta several stuffed protected birds, including species that are protected by CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. As its name implies, this Convention regulates trade in protected species. The Case had resulted following investigations and first-rate collaboration between ERA, Police, Malta Customs and MIA Airport Security.
On the 1st September 2023, the offender had attempted to export the specimens to England packed in a box and checked in as bulky luggage via the Malta International Airport. The contents of the box raised the suspicion of Airport Security personnel who passed it through an x-ray machine and alerted ERA officials. Upon examining the contents in the presence of Customs officers, ERA officials determined that the majority were protected species originating from Northern Europe, Africa and South America. All of them required an export authorisation that was not accompanying the consignment. The Dutch national was then taken into custody by the Malta Police Force and arraigned under arrest.
The Court fined the offender EUR 7,000, which is the highest fine imposed by the Maltese Courts in relation to wildlife trade cases and suspended him from obtaining wildlife trade licenses for a period of 3 years. Additionally, the Court also ordered the confiscation of the 15 bird specimens.
13 September 2023