Man caught attempting to smuggle 104 stay snakes in China — in his pants | EUROtoday

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The man, sporting a black jacket and saggy pants and carrying a backpack, mentioned he had “nothing to declare” when he crossed the busy border checkpoint from Hong Kong into the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen.

A search revealed he was certainly carrying contraband. In reality, 104 scaly items of contraband. That’s what number of stay snakes had been in his pants, China Customs officers mentioned.

A video shared by the company confirmed the person strolling assertively via the “nothing to declare” line on the Futian crossing, one of many world’s busiest land ports.

He was pulled apart for additional inspection — the Customs workplace didn’t say what aroused suspicion or whether or not it was random luck — and the search revealed that his pant pockets contained six canvas drawstring baggage, sealed with tape.

“When opened, each bag was found to contain multiple living snakes, brightly colored and in different shapes and sizes,” in keeping with an announcement from the Customs workplace.

The video confirmed two officers analyzing the pink, pink and black snakes, which had been writhing in plastic baggage by the point of their efficiency for the video.

All 5 species recognized inside — milk, corn, Texas rat, western hognose and gopher snakes — are nonvenomous, endemic to North America and regularly discovered within the unique pet commerce in China, the place they threat turning into an invasive species.

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“Those who violate the regulations will be … held accountable by law,” Customs authorities mentioned. Smugglers of stay animals in China face a effective of as much as 50,000 yuan (rather less than $7,000), and extreme violations can result in felony prices.

The Customs company didn’t reveal the person’s nationality or what occurred to him subsequent, and the workplace in Shenzhen couldn’t be reached for remark.

Futian is not any strangers to “walking zoo” vacationers. In September, a lady was discovered carrying 15 stay snakes, 4 Amazonian big centipedes — the biggest centipede species on this planet — and a blue-tongued skink in her pant pockets and hoodie. Just a few months earlier, a lady was caught hiding 5 snakes in her tank high.

Beijing banned the poaching, transport and commerce of untamed animals in 2020, the yr that the coronavirus pandemic was mentioned to have begun at a market in Wuhan the place wild animals had been offered. Biosecurity and illness management legal guidelines forbid folks from importing, abandoning or releasing nonnative species with out permission.

In 2023, China Customs launched a three-year marketing campaign to crack down on the smuggling and mailing of untamed animals and says it intercepted 1,186 nonnative species, together with 44,000 unique pets, in a yr.

Some wild animals similar to alligator gar — a torpedo-shaped freshwater fish with razor-sharp enamel — haven’t been included in official lists of invasive species and nonetheless discover methods into the nation as pets. The sightings of 1 alligator gar made nationwide headlines in 2022 after a metropolis drained a complete lake in a multiday effort to seize it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/11/man-caught-smuggling-snakes-china/