A Chinese man was arrested and fined after customs officials discovered 200 live venomous scorpions in his luggage at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport on Monday, according to The Straits Times.
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The man, who was suspected of attempting to smuggle the scorpions back to China to extract their venom was fined 100,000 rupees or $550 before being released and allowed to return home.
“We detained the passenger and launched an investigation,” Sunil Jayaratne, a spokesperson for Sri Lanka Customs, told the Times. “We have not placed a value on the 200 scorpions, but trafficking in live wildlife has become a lucrative trade.”
According to the Times, Sri Lanka is home to approximately 18 different species of venomous scorpions. However, only one is fatal to humans and it’s unknown whether the ones seized in this case are deadly.
30-year-old Chinese passenger had been arrested with 200 live scorpions at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) while attempting to smuggle them out to China this afternoon, Customs Director and Acting Spokesman Lal Weerakoon said. via @Dailymirror_SL pic.twitter.com/n1NeklaEMt
This week’s head-scratching discovery comes less than three years after a man was busted with an estimated $30,000 worth of gold stashed in his rectum at the very same airport. Last month, a woman was stung by a scorpion on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta but fortunately did not suffer any major injuries.
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