Colombia captures 50 people suspected of plant, animal trafficking

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BOGOTA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Up to 50 people have been arrested on suspicion of illegally trafficking plants and animals in Colombia, the government said Friday.

These people illegally commercialized Colombia's exotic wildlife by advertising species through social networks or via instant messaging groups, and sold them on demand, according to a government statement.

The authorities have recovered 502 species of animals and 38 specimens of plants, and also seized 51 cubic meters of wood in the operation.

Colombia now ranks as the second most biodiverse country in the world after its neighbor Brazil. However, illegal trafficking of animals and plants has also drawn much concern in the country.

Since the beginning of this year, Colombian environmental authorities have seized 52,000 species of flora and 11,436 species of fauna, as well as over 41,500 cubic meters of wood, leading to the arrest of some 2,200 people, according to figures from the government.

Colombia had planned to host this year's World Environment Day, which fell on Thursday with the theme of "Time for Nature," but an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be held online across the globe. Enditem

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