An unnamed Chinese man was caught trying to smuggle 200 live scorpions from Sri Lanka.
The 30-year-old man had a flight scheduled from Guangzhou, China at the Bandaranaike Airport when the authorities detected 5 scorpions in his luggage.
The photos were taken by the Customs of Sri Lanka and they show the scorpions packed inside plastic boxes.
Authorities explain that the scorpions were taken from several Sri Lankan areas. Even though they’re not deadly, the venomous insects are protected.
Sri Lanka has around 18 species of these venomous scorpions. Their laws about wildlife trafficking are strict as they’re trying to reduce it.
What Happened to the Chinese Smuggler?
Even though the man was released, he had to pay a fine of 100,000 rupees or $552. The authorities continued with the investigation of the scorpion smuggling.
Scorpions are common in TCM in herbal formulas that are believed to help reduce muscle and nerve ache.
Sri Lanka, a tropical island nation, is the home of various wildlife species and this isn’t the first time air travelers were caught smuggling live animals.
Namely, back in 2014, a man from China was arrested during an attempt to smuggle swallow nests worth around $50,000.
Wildlife Trafficking Isn’t Uncommon
In June 2019, several senior officials were charged for capture of baby elephants and were accused of trying to sell them.
Three years ago, Sri Lanka destroyed 100 pounds of rare bird nests, a main ingredient in Chinese and other Asian country soups.
The pangolin is also a common animal targeted by smugglers.