On January 9th 2017 , the Carabinieri Anti-poaching Unit NOA (Nucleo Operativo Antibracconaggio) with the support of the Provincial Command of the Carabinieri of Calabria, have executed 9 search warrants issued by the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Calabria, against 13 people investigated for the crime of criminal association aimed at the sale to third parties of specimens of protected wild birds.
In this operation, about 2000 live protected birds were discovered , mostly kept in apartments and abandoned farmhouses. Such specimens included serins (Serinus serinus), goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), greenfinches (Chloris chloris) or linnets (Carduelis cannabina). They were promptly released and returned to their natural habitat after being considered fit to fly. An additional 90 specimens of passerines were unfortunately found dead.
Several illegal tools that were used to catch the birds were also seized, including nets, electromagnetic devices and hundreds of cages used for the custody of the passerines.
Due to information of CABS shared wiht NOA the whole investigation started