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Man arrested at German airport with suitcase full of animals

German customs authorities arrested a 44-year-old Mexican man after finding his suitcase full of snakes, turtles and lizards, including endangered species.

Zollfahndungsamt Frankfurt/Main, via AP

German customs authorities arrested a 44-year-old Mexican man after finding his suitcase full of snakes, turtles and lizards, including endangered species.

BERLIN — German authorities say they’ve arrested a 44-year-old Mexican man after finding his suitcase full of snakes, turtles and lizards, including endangered species.

Customs’ spokesman Hans-Juergen Schmidt said the man, whose name wasn’t released in accordance with privacy laws, was traveling from Mexico City to Barcelona. He says the man’s bag was X-rayed in Frankfurt where he was changing planes and customs officials found 55 turtles, 30 arboreal alligator lizards, four horned vipers and a five-keeled spiny-tailed iguana.

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Schmidt says one of the animals, believed to be worth about 60,000 euros ($82,000) in total, had already died.

The man is being investigated by Frankfurt prosecutors on suspicion of violating the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Germany’s animal protection laws.

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