German detained in Costa Rica with 170 exotic animals

10th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Costa Rican police have detained a German man who was trying to leave the country with 170 tropical frogs, snakes and lizards hidden in his luggage, officials said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old man, identified only by his surname, Maciej, was detained at San Jose international airport as he prepared to board a flight to Panama, the security ministry said.

Police found 100 frogs, 50 snakes and 20 lizards hidden in food containers and plastic bags inside his luggage.

The Central American country's wildlife protection law provides for prison sentences of one to three years for trafficking in animals.

Costa Rica is famous for its rich biodiversity, a major draw for the country's key tourism sector.

The government is fighting to curb the illegal capture of wild animals to be kept as pets or sold overseas.

Environmental groups estimate the worldwide traffic in exotic animals is a $20-billion-a-year industry.


© 2014 AFP

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