Customs agents at airports normally keep an eye out for things like drugs, illicit liquor, cash, or other valuable commodities, but this week they made a particularly unusual discovery when a passenger flying through Spain was caught with 4.4 pounds of seahorses in his suitcase.
According to The Local, two kilograms of dried seahorses were found bundled up in a passenger’s bag during a random suitcase check at Malaga Costa del Sol airport. The passenger was reportedly flying in from Cali in Colombia and had a stop in Spain on his way back home to China.
Seahorses are a protected species and are protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Seahorses are sometimes eaten in China, often on skewers. The smuggler said his 4.4 pounds of dried seahorses were intended for his own personal consumption, but authorities either did not believe him or did not care. The man faces charges for violating import/export laws regarding the transport of protected wildlife.