Detectives in Limburg and Utrecht provinces have arrested four men in connection with an investigation into illegal animal trading, the public prosecution department said on Monday.
Nine homes and offices were searched in Noord-Brabant, Limburg, Zuid-Holland and Utrecht where a quanty of paperwork was seized.. Last week, two homes in eastern Europe were also searched in connection with the investigation, the department said in a statement.
Dozens of rare birds were confiscated during the investigation, including hornbills and finches.
The four suspects are accused of the large-scale illegal trade in animals, money laundering and fraud. The main suspect has a legal animal trading company but uses it to obscure the origins of some of the species by forging certificates, the public prosecutor said.