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A Man Is Arrested For Transporting Exotic Scorpions, Spiders And Earwigs Via Airline Travel

It is well known that transporting certain animals across national and/or state borders is illegal, and this is especially the case when it comes to the international transport of endangered species. In addition to endangered species, it is obviously in violation of most country’s national and/or state laws to transport potentially dangerous animals, and animals that are known disease vectors across certain set borders. This makes the international transport of many insect and arachnid species illegal. US laws prohibiting the transport of certain insects and arachnids vary from state to state, but in some countries where certain exotic bugs are plentiful, individuals can be met with harsh penalties when caught smuggling particular arthropod species beyond national borders. Although such laws are usually well known to citizens of such countries, it is not uncommon for customs agents to catch individuals violating these laws. For example, in the country of South Africa, the act of transporting certain arthropods out of the country is well understood by its citizens to be legally prohibited. Despite this, one individual was recently arrested for being in possession of certain scorpion, spider and earwig species with the intention of smuggling them out of the country by airline.

Authorities with the Prince Albert and Stock Theft Unit at Beaufort West in Western Cape, South Africa arrested a 23 year old man after 21 scorpions, 2 spiders and 2 earwigs were found in his hotel room. This man, who’s name has not been released to the media, was arrested for failing to provide documentation to prove that was in lawful possession of the arthropods. The arthropods were found in buckets within his hotel room closet, and the particular species of each arthropod group were not mentioned. The arthropods were seized and handed over to the Nature Conservation in South Africa. The arthropods are highly valued on the black market, as they are estimated as being worth R16,000, which is around 12,000 US dollars. The Nature Conservation will later provide an exact dollar amount.

Have you ever witnessed an individual being taken into custody for smuggling arthropods at an airport or border check?

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