Billion Dollar Business: Illegal Puppies Trade from Eastern Europe
In our minds, smuggling is mainly related to the illicit transfer of drugs or alcohol. In recent years, however, there has been a boom in another business - the illegal puppies trade.
The illegal puppies trade brings huge profits. In Europe, dogs can only be exported after they are 15 weeks old and have all the required vaccinations. However, this does not stop greedy breeders.
"The animals come mainly from Eastern Europe, such as Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary. Very often, sellers mislead people that these dogs need care and protection, but this is mainly about money," explains Lea Schmitz of the German Animal Welfare Federation.
In Europe alone, there are over 400,000 dogs on the online platforms. According to Europol, drug dealers make € 24 billion a year. The profits from the illegal puppies trade are similar.