Friday, 22 March 2019

Police find dead tiger in raid over suspected animal mistreatment

ČTK |
19 July 2018

Prague, July 18 (CTK) - The Czech police and customs officers found a fresh-killed tiger, skins of tigers and other big cats and 20 frozen bodies of other protected species while raiding premises in Bohemia over suspected unlawful animal treatment on Monday, they said in a press release on Wednesday.

The tiger was shot dead, they said.

After the Monday raid, the police accused three men of unlawful treatment of protected wildlife species. One of them is a resident of Prague, the other two live in north Bohemia.

One of the accused men is a 56-year-old Vietnamese, while the other two are Czechs, Ludvik Berousek, 67, from a famous Czech family of circus operators, and animal stuffer Milos Hrozinek, 35.

A court remanded the three accused in custody on Wednesday, state attorney Michael Dohnal has said.

If convicted they face up to five years in prison, he added.

According to the police, Berousek was breeding tigers and supplied them to Hrozinek who was processing their bodies to various products.

Hrozinek and Berousek filed a complaint against their custody.

The suspects handled dead tiger bodies at variance with law and they shot at least one tiger dead last Sunday. The organised group sought financial profit through making traditional Chinese medicine products of parts of animal bodies.

Twenty frozen bodies of other protected species, including a kingfisher, a kestrel and a beaver, were uncovered in premises used by one of the suspects. As a result, the police are likely to extend the accusations the man faces.

A court has sent one of the suspects into custody and was expected to decide on the other two later on Wednesday.

The police and customs officers raided sites in Prague, central and north Bohemia on Monday. According to server Lidovky.cz, the case concerns the Bast Zoo Park, central Bohemia, and involves the procession of tiger products by the Vietnamese community.

The police also raided Sapa, a large Vietnamese market place on the southern outskirts of Prague, and a zoo park in Doksy, north Bohemia, which is a branch of the Bast Zoo Park run by Ludvik Berousek.

The police said they have levelled accusations against a Czech man, 67, who bred tigers and supplied their bodies to a 35-year-old taxidermist, a Czech from north Bohemia, who processed them and made products of them, and a Vietnamese dealer, 56, who organised the criminal activity and ensured the sales of products in Sapa, among others.

Robert Slachta, from the Customs Directorate, said the price of a tiger oscillated between 100,000 - 150,000 crowns. The taxidermist sold the skin for up to 100,000, the claws for 2,500 and one gramme of a bouillon cube, made of tiger derivates, for 1,500 crowns.

The investigation has been joined by the Czech Environment Inspection (CIZP), because the case includes a violation of the CITES convention on wildlife protection.

Copyright 2015 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor is not responsible for its content.