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Galápagos Giant Tortoises

Galápagos Wildlife Trafficker Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Galapagos Islands is a treasure trove of biodiversity that contains unique species not found anywhere else in the world. It is crucial to stop wildlife trafficking. This serious crime threatens the survival and well-being of these rare species.

The Constitutional Court of Ecuador sent citizen Paul Adolfo T., to three years imprisonment for wildlife trafficking. For crimes against wildlife, a sentence can be imposed of between one and three years in prison under Article 247 of Comprehensive Organic Penal Code (COIP).

This ruling was made because of events that took place on September 27, 2019, when 123 juvenile Giant Tortoises went missing from the Arnaldo Tuiza Breeding Centre on Isabela Island.

In a press release, the Attorney General’s Office of Ecuador (FGE), stated that investigations revealed that tortoises taken from the breeding centre were systematically replaced by wild tortoises. This was in addition to the fact that illegal sales of these reptiles were apparently occurring in Ecuador and Peru.

The court imposed a minimum of 10 monthly wages, sold assets and bank accounts totaling $4,000 and a total $669,000 as restitution to Galapagos National Park Directorate. The three other defendants in the case, Daniel T. T. and Gustavo F. G., were also found innocent.

Galapagos Conservancy supports the GNPD in its fight against wildlife trafficking. Protecting the Galapagos Islands’ unique species is vital for the survival of the Archipelago.

Galápagos Giant Tortoises
Galápagos Giant Tortoises © Joshua Vela