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Men arrested over trafficking native, exotic animals

A HOME in Petersham was one of six raided by Strike Force Raptor over the alleged trafficking of exotic animals and protected Australian fauna today.

Last year, detectives from the Strike Force Raptor commenced an investigation into alleged money laundering offences relating to the unlawful trafficking of exotic animals and protected Australian fauna.
Detectives have also been assisted throughout the investigation by the Department of Agricultural, Water and Environment (DAWE), NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
During the course of the investigation, officers allegedly uncovered a criminal syndicate involved in the illegal trade of native and exotic fauna across Australia, Canada, Asia and the United States of America.
Detectives also allegedly uncovered criminal activity including large-scale fraud and money laundering.
Since the investigation began, Strike Force Raptor detectives have charged two men with trafficking protected animals.
Following extensive inquiries, officers executed six search warrants at homes at East Hills, Petersham, Greystanes, Riverstone, Whalan and Albion Park Rail from 6am today.
During the searches, officers allegedly located several native and exotic animals including Australian magpies, a Death Adder, a Red-bellied Black Snake, a Python, lizards and turtles.
Investigators also seized mobile phones, computers and electronic storage devices, which will undergo forensic examination.
A 55-year-old man was arrested at East Hills and a 27-year-old man was arrested at Greystanes.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information, including relevant photos and videos, that may assist Strike Force Raptor can report it directly to investigators via the Strike Force Raptor online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/Default.aspx?id=49 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Information provided to investigators will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

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