Two arrested in wildlife trafficking operation

24 June 2020

Two men have been arrested today in New South Wales as part of a joint investigation by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment with the NSW Police, NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment, and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The men are being investigated for importing and exporting both native and exotic wildlife along with possession of wildlife that was seized today.

Working closely with the NSW Police Force Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor, a total of six search warrants were executed across Sydney and the Illawarra.

A diverse range of animals were located including Australian magpies and other native birds, exotic and native snakes including a death adder and red bellied black snake, as well as various turtles and lizards.

The arrests were part of a broader operation that commenced in 2019 with 300 reptiles recovered from previous warrant activity.

Wildlife crime is increasingly being recognised as a specialised area of organised crime and this investigation also uncovered a range of other criminal activity including fraud and money laundering.

Investigations into this matter are ongoing.

If you have any information about trade in illegal wildlife or wildlife products, you should contact compliance@environment.gov.au