Man goes to Court in Sofia for Trying to Sell Protected Specie Turtle
The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against Rosen Georgiev. He goes to court on charges that on June 28, 2017 in Sofia unlawfully kept a protected specie turtle.
The Prosecutor's Office tells how on June 23, a witness in the lawsuit read on an internet site an ad for sale of a tortoise for BGN199. Since she could not tell if it was a specimen protected by law, she telephoned a volunteer assistant to an animal protection NGO and forwarded to him the advertisement.
The expert examined the image of the turtle that was published on the site and immediately realized it was of a protected species. On the same day, he contacted the man selling the animal on the phone and asked for more photos of the turtle that Georgiev sent him through a mobile application. The two agreed on the purchase of the tortoise by appointing a meeting on June 28, 2017 in front of a metropolitan mall. Immediately after this conversation the associate contacted the head of the Department of Nature Protection at the Directorate "Preventive activities" at the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water and informed him of the agreed meeting with the accused.
The head of the department requested assistance from the authorities of the MoI with a view to establishing the protected animal.
The arrangement attended by the NGO associate; the senior expert in the Department of Nature Protection at the Directorate "Preventive activities" at the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water and two police officers, took place on 28.06.2017.
After the defendant pulled the turtle out of the cage, the associate and senior expert examined it and immediately were convinced that it was of a protected nature.
After the police officers detained Georgiev, a protocol of voluntary surrender with which the accused handed over the turtle was drawn up.
On the same day the turtle was taken to the zoo in Sofia.
For this crime, the law provides for up to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine ranging from BGN 5,000 to BGN 20,000.
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