Thursday, 24. July 2014
13. 06. 14. - 16:30
Customs officers found over 40 endangered turtles hidden in a traveller’s suitcase after they spotted the luggage was moving when it went through the baggage X-ray.
The officers at Prague’s Vaclav Havel airport in the Czech Republic capital made the find whilst checking luggage belonging to 47-year-old Russian man Innocent Kapustin.
The 47 black-breasted turtles from Southeast Asia are often popular as pets, but are also listed as endangered.
A customs spokesman said: "Customs officers discovered the turtles during the routine luggage check using X-rays and spotted the contents moving. On further inspection the officers found 47 live turtles and two eggs that were hidden in a cloth bag and stored in two plastic boxes.
"The turtles were transported in very miserable conditions without air and were between turtle faeces and rotting leaves, stacked in several layers in plastic boxes. Two specimens were found dead and some of the others were in a poor state.
"The man had packed the turtles in the leaves to try and hide them, but never had a chance of getting through the X-ray machine."
The remaining turtles will be taken to Prague Zoo where they will be looked after by zookeepers.
Turtle smuggler Kapustin is facing a ten year jail sentence if convicted of trading endangered species.
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