A man was caught by the customs after he tried to sneak in tortoises into Germany as pastries. A 69-year-old man arrived by plane at Schonefeld Airport in Berlin, from Cairo Egypt on 2nd of March.
The customs who checked the baggage found something suspicious and decided to have a thorough check. When asked what was inside, the man just said it was chocolate. However, when the officers opened the package, they found three live Moroccan tortoises.
As the creatures are protected by the Washington Convention on the Protection of Animals, they were confiscated and placed in the care of the border veterinarian.
According to PressePortal, infringements of such species’ protection regulations can result in fines of up to €50,000 (£43,000/$57,000) or imprisonment of up to five years.
A press release from Hauptzollamt Potsdam added: “With its controls, customs makes a decisive contribution to preserving the biodiversity of flora and fauna.
“Since 1973, the Washington Convention on the Protection of the Species (WA) has existed to protect wildlife and plants. In Germany it is valid since 1976.
“To date, 182 states have joined the WA. About 5,600 wild animals and 30,000 plant species are currently listed.”