German arrested, again, for iguana smuggling try
A German tourist has been detained on Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands for allegedly trying to smuggle four Galápagos land iguanas from the archipelago in his luggage.
Authorities say an airport search of the luggage of Dirk Bender on July 8 led to the discovery of one male and three female iguanas of the species Conolophus subcristatus, which is endemic to the Galápagos, in fabric bags.
Bender was taken into the custody of Ecuadorian Judicial Police on the island of Santa Cruz, and the next day a judge ordered him put under “preventive arrest” for 30 days. José Cevallos, the prosecutor for environmental crimes on the Galápagos Islands, said that the period could be extended if “we find that there were more people participating in the commission of the crime.”
If authorities conclude Bender was acting alone, Cevallos said, the prosecutor’s office would begin proceedings aimed at determining whether formal charges are filed. If charges are lodged, the judge handling the case would then decide whether there is sufficient evidence to hold a trial.