2 million eels of critically endangered species were seized by the customs officials at Sofia Airport Customs House


2015-01-22

 

An attempt for an illegal import of 2 million eels of critically endangered species was stopped and prevented by the customs officials of "Combating Drug Trafficking" department at Sofia Airport Customs House. The eels were being transported in 8 containers by two Chinese citizens, travelling from Madrid to Sofia. The two passengers have stated that they carried food inside the containers. During the initiated customs inspection, the customs officials discovered "baby" eels of the "Anguila Anguila" species.

Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) in Sofia confirmed that the discovered eels were of the critically endangered European species "Anguilla Anguilla", which is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The average price of these "baby" eels varies from € 500 per kg in Europe, to € 1300 per kg in the Asian countries.

The eels were transported to the rescue centre in the Varna Aquarium.

The two Chinese citizens were detained for the period of 72 hours. The case was submitted to the Sofia City Prosecutor`s Office and a Pre-trial procedure was initiated.