People are constantly trying to ship or smuggle odd things to foreign countries. Occasionally, these shipments get discovered and they make the news. Here are five of the weirdest discoveries ever made in international shipments:
A man on his way from Lima, Peru to New York City was traveling with a marmoset. He was questioned about it. While he was on his flight, passengers saw a monkey crawl out from under his hat. When he arrived in NYC, police questioned the man again and seized the monkey. Nobody is sure how the marmoset had gone undetected in the Peru and Florida airports than the man had traveled through. In a separate case in 2007, a woman was arrested for attempting to smuggle a rhesus macaque monkey from Thailand to the United States. The monkey was sedated and hidden under her dress while the woman pretended she was pregnant. The woman was convicted of violating the Endangered Species Act several other laws.
In April of 2009, a man was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport for transporting live songbirds from Vietnam. The man was under investigation already when an employee at an airport found a bag of his with 19 birds in it, six of which were dead. Since he was already on the radar of customs officials, they were waiting for him to arrive on a flight from Vietnam. The customs officials noticed that he already had bird droppings on his shoes. They then discovered he had 14 Vietnamese songbirds attached to his lower legs. He had wrapped them in cloth. All of the birds survived the flight. The man pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to four months in jail and he had the pay $5,000 to feed and house the birds.
3. Fake holy water
In 2008, a man was arrested when he crosed the Canadian-U.S. border in Lewiston, New York. He was transporting 100 bottles of a clear liquid. It was discovered by a drug sniffing dog. The man told customs officials that the bottles were filled with holy water that he purchased in Canada. The liquid was tested and it was determined to be ketamine, a hallucinogenic drug. Some of the bottles were filled with general narcotics. The man was a citizen of Barbados and a permanent resident of the United States. He was arrested and turned over to immigration officials.
A man arrived at the Dublin airport from Bulgaria. Airport officials thought he looked nervous, so they decided to check him out. They x-rayed his bag and discovered that the image of a dog showed up in his carry on bag. Since the dog was standing up, the screeners thought it was a statue or a toy. However, they discovered a live chihuahua when they opened the bag. The dog was in a small cage that was inside the bag. The man was going to give the dog to a friend of his in Ireland, but he wanted to bypass Ireland’s quarantine laws. The chihuahua was taken from the man and placed in quarantine.
5. Snakes and turtles
In 2010, police at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia noticed some shipping containers that were labeled as “fresh fruit” were scheduled to be sent to Hong Kong. When they opened the containers, they found 3,493 pig-nosed turtles and 25 bags of Chinese rat snakes. It is not illegal to export these animals from Indonesia. However, there are laws that regulate their transport. The person shipping them was trying to get around quarantine laws.