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Police break up million-euro puppy-trafficking ring

Three arrested for smuggling from Eastern Europe

10 February, 14:40
Police break up million-euro puppy-trafficking ring (ANSA) - Milan, February 10 - Police have dismantled a trafficking ring that raked in some one million euros a year by smuggling puppies into Italy from Eastern Europe. Nine individuals reported to the police. Three of the traffickers have been arrested, while three others have been placed under residence restrictions on charges of belonging to a criminal organization. It marks possibly the first time that such charges been used in such a case. Operation Maky, in honor of one of the puppies saved on the brink of death, was conducted by police in the northern Italian town of Lodi. Eighty-eight puppies were seized during the operation. The puppies were all under three months old and were stuffed into the trunks and cabs of large, rented vehicles. Once taken to the town of San Giuliano, near Milan, microchips were implanted under their skin and they were given health cards stating that they were from Italy.

The dogs were then sold on the Internet and in pet shops at prices of as much as 10 times what they had been sold for in their countries of origin.