Man held with monkeys, macaw

A 50-year-old busi­ness­man is ex­pect­ed to ap­pear in court on Thurs­day charged with pos­ses­sion of three pro­tect­ed an­i­mals — two squir­rel mon­keys and a macaw.

The bar own­er, of Gran Chemin, Moru­ga, was ar­rest­ed dur­ing a sting op­er­a­tion or­gan­ised of the joint army and po­lice team and game war­dens.

The busi­ness­man had post­ed an ad­ver­tise­ment of­fer­ing the an­i­mals for sale on so­cial me­dia. Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials con­tact­ed him and the busi­ness­man bro­kered a sale for the an­i­mals for a to­tal of $7,600.

The mon­keys were be­ing sold at $3,000 each while the macaw was priced at $1,600.

Around 10 am on Car­ni­val Mon­day, the busi­ness­man was ar­rest­ed af­ter his Toy­ota Rav 4 was in­ter­cept­ed by the po­lice along the Moru­ga Road, St Mary's Vil­lage.

Each an­i­mal was found in a card­board box in the trunk. The squir­rel mon­keys are not na­tive to T&T. They live in the trop­i­cal forests of Cen­tral and South Amer­i­ca in the canopy lay­er.

The busi­ness­man was ar­rest­ed and tak­en to the St Mary's Po­lice Past where he is ex­pect­ed to be charged by se­nior game war­den Steve Seep­er­sad with three of­fences of pos­ses­sion of a pro­tect­ed an­i­mal.

The mon­keys and the blue and yel­low macaw will be tak­en to the Forestry Di­vi­sion's St Joseph Wildlife Sec­tion where they will be kept un­til the court hear­ing.

The busi­ness­man is ex­pect­ed to ap­pear in the Princes Town Mag­is­trates Court which is be­ing tem­porar­i­ly housed in the Rio Claro Court. The of­fence car­ries a max­i­mum fine of $10,000. PCs Pha­goo and Bis­soon were al­so in­volved in the ar­rest.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson

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