An American man was caught trying to smuggle a live albino alligator onto a flight in his suitcase.
The unnamed 42-year-old passenger was attempting to travel from Munich, Germany to Singapore when he was apprehended with the reptile in late September.
Security raised the alarm when they spotted an unusually shaped object in the main’s luggage while it was passing through the security scanner, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung.
An X-ray image from the airport shows what very clearly looks like the outline of an alligator curled around in the bag.
When customs officials opened it up, they found the metre-long reptile wrapped in cling-film from top to bottom, with two air holes poked through for the nostrils.
The man had to pay a five-figure fine and had his phone confiscated before travelling to Singapore, and now faces criminal charges for violating Germany’s Species Protection and Animal Welfare Act.
It’s believed he was attempting to transport the albino alligator to sell it in Singapore, where they can go for up to €75,000.
Albino alligators are extremely rare - it’s believed there are only around 200 of them left in the world.
It’s not the first time a passenger has attempted to sneak something unusual into their luggage.
Two women were arrested in Bangkok in June 2022 after attempting to board a flight with 100 live animals in their luggage.
The smugglers had packed live, endangered creatures including two armadillos, two porcupines, 50 chameleons, 35 turtles and 20 snakes, said the chief of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s Wildlife Inspection Office.
“Animal trafficking is usually detected at the Thai-Myanmar borders and domestic airports to a certain extent,” Sathon Konggoen told Agence France Presse at the time.
He confirmed that the animal smugglers had been set to travel to Chennai, India.
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