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Sunday, 26 February 2012

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Foreigners charged for collecting reptiles

A team of foreigners, belonging to a group called Exo-Terra, have been arrested by officers of Department of Wildlife Conservation, with amphibians and lizards prevalent in Kalpitiya on Saturday morning, Department sources said.

They were produced before the Acting Magistrate of Puttalam who ordered them to appear in Court on February 29.

According to sources their passports have been impounded. The group has advertised the expedition to Sri Lanka in their web-site as: http:@www.www.exo-terra.com/en/expeditions/expedition2011.php

The group comprising six foreigners from five countries, were apprehended at Alankudawa in Kalpitiya who had four amphibians, star tortises, DNA samples of certain reptiles, lizards and some plant specimens.

Meanwhile the eco-groups appreciated the officers of the DWLC and their DD/Law Enforcement Ranjan Marasingha, who led the raid personally. We appreciate their commitment, dedication and efficiency in protecting our bio-diversity", environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardena said.

Gunawardena said under the Section 30 of the Fauna and Flora Act no one was allowed to collect reptiles, keep them in their possession unless the permission is given by the DWLC. " Similarly the Section 31A applies to amphibians. Therefore any one who keeps any reptile or amphibian or captured them or keeping any part of them in their possession is liable to arrest without a warrant by the DWLC or the Police", he said.

 

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