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Officials investigating a haul of ‘blauenatoria’ – big spiders – arrest 23 people
Colombia seizes hundreds of arachnids being illegally smuggled to Europe
Colombia has seized 1,100 spiders known as “blauenatoria” on a truck in the latest seizure of the creatures being illegally smuggled from the jungle to Europe.
The “extremely unusual and important seizure” will support and strengthen efforts to regulate their trade, Jaime Hernández, the director of the Colombian Agriculture and Livestock Service, told reporters on Wednesday.
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Soaring international trade in spiders has brought the arachnids to the attention of the country’s anti-drug trafficking police, who say they sometimes transport the same species of spider via train, perhaps posing a danger to transporters.
A total of 23 people were arrested during the seizures, with another 32 suspects detained by the police on the same day at a vast plantation, further east in the town of Mucuchillo.
Colombia is ranked by the US in its annual rankings of “the most dangerous countries” in the world due to its relative ease of trafficking substances.
“In this regard, we would like to remind Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Peru that Colombia is the preferred drug-producing country in the region and the most extreme gravity we have,” said Marcelo Altamirano, a police commander of the region.
“That’s why we are like a sniper pointing in all directions,” he said.
While Colombia has made significant headway against coca cultivation in recent years, the consumption of the drug is skyrocketing along with the price, which authorities estimate is currently 150 times higher than five years ago.