Suitcase full of animals found at German airport

AP News
Posted: May 16, 2014 9:58 AM

BERLIN (AP) — 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.

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.