BRATISLAVA - A couple from Slovakia imported hundreds of frogs from Central America to the EU, completely legally. However, the woman was later apprehended in Germany, where police seized over 100 frogs from her. Some of them of the kind which was never in history imported to Europe legally. Turns out, her husband is a well known person for conservationists in Panama, and for all the wrong reasons.

This case in not only about a couple of frog enthusiasts. It also showcases there is something wrong with the international system of regulation of the trade with endangered animals. German authorities are today talking about a "frog mafia”, falsification of documents and imports of very illegal species declared as other species. But even in this case, after someone was caught red-handed, they face no real consequences.

German accomplices of the couple from Slovakia got away with fines. And the couple was free to move away from the EU, as the Slovak police apparently could not have been bothered to even search their place. Nowadays, they live in Texas, US, and continue breeding exotic and endangered poison dart frogs, populations of which in the wild continue to decrease.


Team members

Tomáš Madleňák

Tomáš Madleňák has been a reporter for the Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak since 2020.

Andrea Rehmsmeier

Andrea Rehmsmeier lives and works as a freelance journalist in Hanover, Germany. 



An investigative centre for monitoring organised crime, corruption and their links to politics and institutions (Slovakia)


Investigatíve centr Jána Kuciaka
€15.400 allocated on 23/02/2022




need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.