Monday, February 19, 2018

Cops raid house: 132 protected birds seized


SURPRISE FIND: PCs Leon Jones, left, and Orson Mungo display two of the birds and a quantity of bird seeds seized during a police exercise at a house in the Barataria area yesterday. —Photos: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Mark Fraser

MORE than 130 protected birds from South America and other Caribbean islands were seized by police officers at a house in Barataria, where they had gone in search of arms and ammunition yesterday.

Officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force (NEDTF) led by Insp Roger Alexander had executed a search warrant at the house located along the Eastern Main Road, where they made the discovery.

In all, 132 birds ranging in prices from $200 to $2,000 were found in different parts of the house.

The owner of the house reportedly told officers he imported the birds “from all over” as he had intended to open a pet shop.

Among the birds found were bullfinches, picoplats, South American seven-coloured parakeets and a Twa Twa.

Officers said around 12.30 p.m. they executed the warrant at the home of the 38-year-old man. Upon entering the house, police said they found the birds in cages throughout the building.

Police said several empty cages were also discovered, leading them to believe that the man may have already sold some of the birds.

Up to last night he was in custody at the Morvant Police Station. 

Game warden Nicholas Leith said the man does not necessarily have to be charged with the offences as it could be dealt with internally. He said the man could be made to pay a fine to the Forestry Division. 

Insp Alexander told the Express crime within the division would not be tolerated.

“There is a zero-tolerance approach to crime in this division. If we hold you with a marijuana seed, you are going to be arrested and charged,” said Alexander.

Also involved in the exercise were Cpl Sunil Bharath and PCs Jason Forde, Lorenzo Lezama and Clint Dass.