News Hitman Charged With Totoaba Smuggling

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‘Hitman’ charged with totoaba smuggling
12th December 2018

By Sandra Pearce

Mexico has arrested an alleged drug cartel hitman on charges of trafficking the critically endangered totoaba fish, a species whose swimbladder can fetch up to $20,000 on the black market in China.

The suspect, identified as Oscar N, alias ‘El Parra’, was arrested on charges of leading a top totoaba trafficking gang, said the government of the northern state of Baja California. He is described as a ‘dangerous hitman and drug trafficker’ and wanted on a homicide charge.

The state sits on the Gulf of California, the native habitat for the totoaba.

The illegal fishing trade has turned increasingly violent, and has claimed a collateral victim: the nearly extinct vaquita marina, the world’s smallest porpoise, which can end up caught in the nets used to fish for totoaba, reports Reuters news agency.