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Raid recovers missing zoo heist monkey

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Raid recovers missing zoo heist monkey
The missing marmoset was found when a man posted photos on social media networks. Photo:Frank Kehren/Flickr
15:29 CEST+02:00
An Andalucian man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen monkey after blundering on social media.

Civil Guard police officers in El Coronil, a city in the province of Seville, Andalucia, have arrested a man for receiving and possessing stolen goods in the form of 'Paintbrush the marmoset', a monkey stolen from Guilena Zoo.

An official press release revealed that in addition to the alleged crime of buying the monkey despite knowing it was stolen, the man has also been charged with violation of anti-smuggling legislation and with making "inappropriate" comments towards his arresting officers.

Police suspicions were aroused when the man, identified only as V.I.F.D., uploaded photographs of the monkey to various social networks.

The marmoset, a monkey of the species 'Calithrix jacchus' is better known to its friends as 'Tití de pincel', or 'Paintbrush the marmoset'.

It had been reported stolen several months ago by a zoo in the town of Guillena.

Once officers had located the property in the photographs, they launched a raid and discovered the monkey safe and well in a bedroom.

The man was asked to produce a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora) certificate establishing his legal ownership of the animal but could only present an error-strewn transfer document and an uncertified photocopy, both legally invalid.

The monkey was therefore seized and returned to the zoo where the owner identified it as being "without a shadow of a doubt" the missing 'Tití' and provided the official veterinary certificate proving that it had been born in the zoo.

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