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Spain finds hundreds of stuffed endangered animals in shed

Spain said on Sunday it seized over 1,000 taxidermied animals, including hundreds of endangered or extinct species, in one of the largest hauls of its kind. 

Spain finds hundreds of stuffed endangered animals in shed
File: A Royal Bengal tiger walks in its enclosure at the central zoo in Lalitpur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on December 6, 2021. (Photo by Prakash MATHEMA / AFP)

The Civil Guard said the private collection, estimated to be worth nearly 29 million euros, was discovered in a shed in Betera, near Valencia in eastern Spain. 

Among the 1,090 animals seized, 405 are classified as protected, endangered or extinct, including the scimitar-horned oryx once found in parts of Africa. 

A stuffed Bengal tiger, considered near extinction, was also found, along with cheetahs, lynxes, polar bears, white rhinos and 198 elephant tusks. 

The Civil Guard said on Sunday it was the country’s “largest haul of nationally-protected taxidermied animals and one of the largest in Europe”. 

The owner of the collection is under investigation for smuggling and several environmental crimes. 

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CRIME

Spanish police arrest one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives

Spanish police said Wednesday they had arrested one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, sought for his suspected role in the murder of a teenager.

Spanish police arrest one of Britain's most wanted fugitives

British police believe David Ungi, 30, was involved in the fatal shooting in 2015 in Liverpool of 18-year-old Vinny Waddington while he was riding a motorcycle.

Ungi, who is also wanted in connection with heroin trafficking, left Britain less than 24 hours after Waddington was killed, according to British authorities.

Two other men were convicted in 2016 of the 18-year-old’s murder.

Spanish police said in a statement Ungi was arrested along with three other British men in the town of Coin near the southern resort of Marbella on May 5 as they entered a gym at a shopping centre.

Officers seized a firearm from a rucksack being carried by one of the men, Spain’s National Police said in a statement.

A police search of Ungi’s residence in Coin turned up a machinegun and two other guns as well as “abundant ammunition”, 15 kilos (33 pounds) of cocaine and 19 kilos of hashish, the statement added.

Spanish police said the operation was carried out in cooperation with Britain’s National Crime Agency, which had put Ungi on its most wanted list.

The Spanish coast has long a popular bolthole for British criminals fleeing the law because they can blend easily into thriving expatriate communities.

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