Airport authorities at Argentina’s Ezeiza International (EZE) in Buenos Aires say they caught a Czech national trying to smuggle a total of 247 live snakes, reptiles and mollusks in his suitcase.
Snakes Almost on a Plane
Authorities say some of the creatures they found were poisonous including South American pit vipers. Also found in the luggage were a several young boas plus a couple of snakes known as Yararas which can grow to five feet in length. Many (if not most) of these reptiles are considered endangered.
Reptiles were Headed to Spain
The suspect, Karel Abelovsky, was arrested after suspicious authorities opened his “bulging suitcase” and found the wriggling contents, although two of the reptiles were had died. It is believed that Abelovsky may have been part of a European-based smuggling ring. He had reportedly been about to board an Iberia Airlines plane to Madrid when he was caught with the illicit cargo.
The incident took place Dec. 7 but is only now receiving wide media attention. If convicted on smuggling charges, the suspect could receive up to ten years in prison.