Not very long ago, we reported on how a German national was caught while trying to smuggle four land iguanas out of Galapagos.
Apparently, the man hoped that he could manage to get through airport security without raising any suspicions, as the animals were carefully tucked away in his luggage.
However, security officers figured out what he was up to and the police were called in to arrest the culprit, as this particular species is an endangered one and all trading activities involving it are considered to me a major offense committed against environmental protection.
Recent developments in this case inform us that, although Dirk Bender tried to get out on bail, a judge working with a court on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, refused to grant him permission to do so, and ruled in favor of conservationism and environmental protection.
As green-oriented organization Sea Shepherd explains, this legal decision basically translates into the judge's admitting that the smuggling activities in which German national Dirk Bender got involved do nothing to serve public interest and need be regarded as a serious offense against biodiversity.
Sea Shepherd further explains that the judge's denying to grant Dirk Bender the possibility of getting out on bail will also help make sure that the culprit does not leave these regions, meaning that he will have no choice but to stick around and face the charges directed against him head on, rather than simply flee to some other location.
Apparently, this will be the first time when someone actually goes to prison for trafficking wildlife in the Galapagos.
Sea Shepherd's official website
comments on this recent court ruling, saying “In the 14 years we have had the Special Law of Galapagos we have never had a single person convicted on an environmental crime, regardless of the seriousness of some of these offenses.”
Furthermore, “Monday’s court decision, on the contrary, sends the right message to society: a message that the court will uphold the law to protect endemic species in the Galapagos.”
Hopefully, Dirk Bender's story will serve to teach other people that wildlife trafficking is not something taken lightly by authorities, and that severe consequences await those who engage in such activities.