On 29 January, Finance Colombia reported that police on the border with Ecuador arrested 2 Germans, 1 Polish and 1 Venezuelan illegally transporting 9 captured specimens of tarantulas that they had captured. When stopped, the foreigners could not justify their possession of the wildlife. During the stop, plastic boxes containing 9 spiders and a spider egg were found. According to Colombian prosecutors, the tarantula has a black market value of roughly $7,600. Prosecutors say one of the German suspects presented an authorization by a German museum, but foreign museums have no authority to contravene Colombian environmental laws. Last year alone, 19,609 species of birds, mammals and reptiles were recovered by Colombian authorities, and 2,405 people were prosecuted.
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