A suitcase crammed with more than 600 live tarantulas, scorpions and other terrifying creepy crawlies has been seized by amazed customs officials in Germany.
The bag was intercepted at Bonn Airport after arriving from Arizona, USA, via London.
Inside, inspectors found a huge plastic container with hundreds of deadly spiders, scorpions, centipedes and other bugs packed into specimen bags.
The bag’s 46-year-old American national owner told customs officials he’d planned to sell the bugs at a trade fare and valued them at EUR 18,000 (GBP 15,000).
Airport officials were so overwhelmed they called in bug experts from nearby TerraZoo to identify them all.
Cologne Main Customs Office spokesperson Jens Ahland said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “My colleagues at the airport, in particular, are used to a lot of things when checking suitcases, but they couldn’t believe what they found here.
“Almost 190 tarantulas, wolf spiders, and jumping spiders, more than 430 scorpions, and around 20 centipedes and beetles were there individually or in groups.
“Plastic bags or plastic containers were squeezed into this box.
“Unfortunately, some of the arachnids and scorpions did not survive the transport, which was contrary to animal welfare.”
The bag’s owner was fined EUR 6,800 [GBP 5,886] for breaching animal trafficking and wildlife protection laws, reports local media.
The surviving bugs – found two weeks ago -are starting new lives at the TerraZoo.
Ahland explained: “When entering or returning from a non-EU member state, animals of any kind must be declared at customs and import duties must be paid for them.
“These amount to 19 percent of the value of the animals and therefore it has happened at the airport that small dogs are in bags where they have been hidden in order to avoid the taxes.
“But I have never heard of a suitcase full of so many bugs in my life as a customs officer.”