Czech man tried to smuggle 247 animals onto airplane in suitcase

Posted Dec 27, 2011 by Katerina Nikolas
Airport officials in Argentina potentially saved the lives of 245 of the 247 live creatures, including poisonous snakes, which a Czech man was attempting to smuggle onto a flight in his suitcase. Two of the animals encased were found dead.
Snake populations are declining
Snake populations are declining
SBJohnny/Wikimedia Commons
A Czech man who attempted to smuggle 247 animals onto a plane bound for Madrid, Spain, could face up to 10 years in prison. Karel Abelovsky, 51, packed reptiles and mollusks into a suitcase, shocking airport officials at Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
According to Naharnet the contents of the suitcase were revealed as baggage X-ray technicians noticed live movements inside the case. Amongst the discovery were nine species of poisonous snakes, including yararas, boas and pitvipers. It is believed that Abelovsky was part of an exotic species smuggling ring as part of his haul included extremely rare animals.
Several bizarre animal smuggling attempts have been thwarted by vigilant airport staff during 2011. The Huffington Post reported in August that a man was foiled in his attempt to smuggle live turtles and snakes onto a flight out of Miami International Airport, by concealing them under his clothes. Even more bizarre was the case of a Thai woman reported by the Guardian, who was attempting to conceal a tiger cub amongst a suitcase full of stuffed toy tigers bound for Iran.
Smugglers have tried to sneak aboard creatures as diverse as leopards, frogs, spiders, crocodiles, and parrots, as part of a lucrative trade in exotic and endangered species.