Greek, Spanish Authorities Nab Slippery Eel Smugglers Trading with China

The National Herald Archive

MADRID (AP) — The European Union's police agency says an international operation has dismantled a crime network smuggling live eels to China, describing it as the EU's biggest success in recent years against trafficking in endangered species.

Europol says Spanish and Greek authorities have arrested 17 people and confiscated two metric tons of European eels worth 2 million euros ($2.1 million), 1 million euros in cash, gold bars and luxury vehicles.

It said in a statement Wednesday that in the current season some 10 metric tons of eels have been smuggled from the EU to China, generating an estimated profit of 10 million euros.

The operation resulted from joint action between France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, launched by Europol in 2015 as part of the fight against wildlife trafficking.