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Smuggler Caught Shipping tarantulas in LA

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by KenTheBugGuy, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. KenTheBugGuy

    KenTheBugGuy Arachnodemon


    I can't say I support what happened here or even that I think Sven is right. Granted I do believe we all break laws and rules at times and I don't think the crime totally fits the punishment here. there is a thread on this other forum that lets people go and help Sven just do a search. It tells a little more about what happened also. Micheal is legit as you find through the thread. So go do a search and lets help another person in the hobby out.

  2. I went to the RFUK site, and believe me, I was..!

    No search button appears unless you are willing to register...:wall:
  3. Falk

    Falk Arachnodemon

    So i guess you have seen all the papers from all the spiders you have bought, private, dealers, petstores etc etc?
  4. mcluskyisms

    mcluskyisms Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Right well I think I've bitten my tongue for long enough, firstly Id like to mention that I do not condone breaking the law in any country (even as dumbfounded and stupid as some are*) but also strongly feel that Sven hasn't particularly done anything worth warranting this size of an operation with the vast amounts of funding and planning that has went into this "sting" nor the apparent consequences that may come with it.

    I think its a sad day when someone as well regarded as Sven (which he is, all over Europe) has to be brought down by such an entrapment for supplying CB spiderlings of a CITES listed species to yourselves the hobbyists.

    As mentioned above by Falk, do each and everyone of you go about asking for paper work on every tarantula you buy? Short answer, no, no you dont. Because if you did there would more than likely only be 2,000 or so tarantula owners in the USA.

    So maybe some of you who live in glass houses should learn not to throw stones and jump down from your hypocritical self-righteous fences you find yourselves perched on and wake up. Sven is only a criminal in the same sense of the word as the rest of us are.

    That's just my 2,000 Ugandan Dollars worth

    *laws that is
  5. fatich

    fatich Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Today is 20th December,any news from the decision of the court?
  6. Looks like even the Press don't believe all their hype. After some grandiose adjectives in the print and electronic media, they've all dropped the story entirely. (Least, Google says so!) :wicked:
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  7. Anastasia

    Anastasia Arachnoprince Old Timer

    maybe that is a good thing, usually news all over drama and action like 'OMG! :eek:' or ' can you believe this!!',
    " Man caught smuggling spider then he was hanged shot burned and buried for that, after he got taken for all what he had" :rolleyes:
    I really hope Sven is out and back with his family before holidays
  8. Sleazoid

    Sleazoid Arachnoknight

    He deserves to be arrested this makes our hobby look bad. It is just odd to me why the US would go to such great lengths to catch him doing this? Not that I disagree that it was wrong, or think the law is stupid in any way. I just think it is really strange they decided to pick him out and catch him doing this like they have nothing better to do.
  9. DansDragons

    DansDragons Arachnobaron

    he wasn't tricked into shipping them illegally, he was shipping internationally without any paperwork for a while. one of his packages ended up getting inspected by customs and after they found what they did, they started an investigation and had agents recieve packages from him for proof of what he was doing.

    so it's not like they were all just sitting at a table, bored, and one of them thought "hey!, lets see if we can bait a random tarantula dealer from overseas into illegally shipping here!"

    most of his supporters want to believe this is some kind of conspiracy, but it's simply a case of someome repeatedly breaking the law, and finally getting caught.

  10. Sleazoid

    Sleazoid Arachnoknight

    Oh yeah, I know that it isn't some kind of conspiracy, it just seemed like they hyped it up in the story. But then again shipping animals through the borders has given the US a lot of problems anyways so I can see why all the concern.

    I guess I watch too much law and order. I had some image in my head of some swat team guys breaking down the door and telling to get on the ground and drop the tarantulas. :rolleyes:
  11. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I agree it is def not good press for the hobby but I don't think he deserves up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to 250,000 dollars!Also I think its pretty interesting the people in the USA receiving box's got in no trouble what so ever for this!
  12. Falk

    Falk Arachnodemon

    Hybrid breeders and dealers who sell wild caughts are fare worse imo than traveling with cb slings without papers.
  13. KenTheBugGuy

    KenTheBugGuy Arachnodemon


    I kind of wondered about that too ....wondered if they gave up info to get off or something.
  14. Sleazoid

    Sleazoid Arachnoknight

    I don't think he deserves all that time and that much of a fine no, of course not. I agree that it shouldn't go unpunished, but not to the degree listed above.

    I don't think anything can be worse than that.
  15. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    I agree, from the articles I've read Sven was no small time dealer, and on his Facebook page he complained about how the US has different laws than in Europe, so he apparently knew he was breaking them. It's imperative that if you're going to sell Tarantulas, particularly on a large scale that you follow all laws, particularly with international shipping and such...and I found it particularly sad that even in hindsight instead of admitting he did wrong he just complained about the legal system.

    His Facebook page even has people trying to ask for money to help him pay for his legal trial when one article I read said he'd accumulated somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 dollars in the last couple years from all these illegal transactions. A lot of people are saying he's innocent but this simply isn't the case...and one would think a breeder/salesman on that level would have at LEAST looked into the laws and tried to buy the necessary licensing, provide documentation instead of expecting people to bail him out of his own mistakes.


    I've included a link here to sign a petition to legalize transporting T's through the mail system, but until the laws are changed it's not even legal to send them USPS. The point here is that if you're going to break the law you may get caught...and it just further tarnishes your character to complain about it argumentatively as if you're above said laws.

    I don't agree that selling WC's is a bad thing if it's legal, I mean the T's in our hobby have to initially come from somewhere to ultimately produce CB's...but I will agree that hybrids are pretty wrong. I mean Mexico has already turned down an attempt by the US to try and help fix the damage done to the Brachypelma genus and they flat out declined because of hybrid sellers knowing very well that without expensive DNA research that it would be hard to prove 100% that the T's weren't hybrids or inbred to a point of being detrimental to the sparse collective left in the wild.

    With that said, however, I don't believe that takes away at all from smuggling, and because of this fiasco the chances of that petition working in our favor is now far slimmer. Sven didn't just hurt himself with his illegal shenanigans, he hurt our chances of making it legal to ship through USPS because this would simply make it that much harder to trace smuggling.

    This hobby has caused a lot of damage to the natural world because of high demand and a lot of areas not having any laws to protect these beautiful animals unfortunately...and it's our responsibility to realize our actions can do damage. Sven's T's might have been perfectly legal but his actions were not, and if he's let go without any punishment whatsoever it sends a positive message to those who do poach endangered or protected T's from the wild. I find it sad that so many have entirely ignored the fact that he's broken the law due to bias in his favor.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  16. Falk

    Falk Arachnodemon

    Well mr Dusty, forrests are harvested for species to sell in the trade and many "legal" papers are fake. Wild cought species also have an biological clock that doesnt work well with how they are being kept in captivity in foreignt contries.
  17. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    Anybody who keeps T's should know how to do so properly, and as I said without WC's somewhere along the line how do you think T's came to be pets in the first place? One has to buy WC species at first to be able to breed them to be able to bring CB's into the trade. I'm not a fan of WC's once there's a good amount of CB's in the business to be had, but the supply often times is very short in comparison to the demand...which is why it's important to make sure WC's are legally obtained, and that all the rules are followed.

    Addendum: One thing I have noticed too though, my Lampropelma violaceopes MM was captive bred, but when I studied his habits in captivity (due to a large amount of free time that comes with being crippled), I noticed it's biological clock followed the times you'd expect them to be out and about in Singapore...so I don't think the biological clocks are just seen in WC's either, but rather in the species so many generations down the line regardless if not permanently adhered to their genetic memory.
  18. I didn't realise that the US Postal Service refused live animals, viz tarantulas in particular. We just pop ours in the post and Royal Mail does the rest.

    How do you guys in the US transport your arachnids? Courier companies?
  19. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    Either that or people send them through USPS and hope for the best. When it comes to small time stuff it's usually just a slap on the wrist...but if you're greedy you usually get popped hard.

    That's one of the reasons I find it sad that so many people are so upset about Sven, I mean from what I've read he knew he was breaking the law and make quite a formidable amount of money, enough to do it all legally.

    This does damage not only to the possibility of getting it legalized through USPS, but every time something like this happens it gives the Government more fuel to enforce stronger laws on imports, exports, as well as ownership in general. I've heard of a few people lately having to pay a fee and sign papers to get a T that'd been WC...it doesn't seem common but I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a regular thing now.
  20. pocock1899

    pocock1899 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    As an aside from the views on whether the laws are rational or sane.

    In case you are wondering how much money it costs to get a German CITES:

    From the German official site:

    Cost of a CITES Export permit: 21 Euros (about $27).
    Wait time for application 4-6 weeks.

    From the USFWS site:

    Cost for US importer (assuming a commercial dealer):
    USFWS Import/Export License: $100

    Cost for US Declaration/Inspection:
    Live, protected (CITES) shipment:$201

    To receive a Personal Shipment (smaller numbers, not for resale):
    No I/E license required:$0
    Cost Declaration/Inspection for Personal Shipment: $112

    Actual saved shipping costs (by shipping USPS instead of a bonded animal shipper) ...varies. Ken could probably shed some light on this.

    Cost of getting caught, lawyers fees, loss of business, fines, etc:
    More than the above costs combined.

    All of this, just to save a dollar or two on every spider in a shipment of 300.

    It's not overly difficult or impossibly complicated to ship animals legally. It happens dozens of times every day. If you want, you can hire a broker to do the paperwork. The Port of Miami in the US sees thousands of legal animals (many of them arachnids) every year. In fact, it's the busiest live animal port in the US. There is no excuse for a professional dealer of Sven's expertise and standing to NOT ship legally.
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