A butterfly farm located in Uvita de Osa, Puntarenas, is subject to investigation by the authorities because it apparently works as a “smoke-screen” for the trafficking of insect species in the “black market” of Europe.

The monarch butterfly, one of the many species that might be object of such illegal trafficking to ‘black markets’ in Europe

As reported Wednesday by the Prosecutor’s Office, in this case, it directs 5 raids since morning hours in a house in Guápiles, as well as in 3 homes and the butterfly farm, called “Blue Diamond”.

“The case investigates 4 people named Brenes Hernández, Brenes Fallas, Brenes Piedra and Brenes Brenes (relatives of each other), who are suspected of illegally exporting butterflies, beetles, spiders, and wasps to Europe. It is presumed that, from March 6th, 2018, the defendants would have been selling these species on the black market, in an approximate amount of € 1,000 each”, the State accusing body said.

The suspects were arrested and are under the orders of the Public Ministry. They are investigated for the crime of international wildlife trafficking.

According to information from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Brenes family has a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) to operate the zoo-farm. However, it is investigated whether or not such a butterfly garden is a distraction from the illicit activity that they would be developing.

This case is under investigation within Cause 18-006872-0042-PE.