Venomous scorpion smuggler gets a $500 fine in this country

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A Chinese man was caught trying to smuggle around 200 venomous scorpions out of Sri Lanka’s Colombo airport, according to a report from the Colombo Gazette on Monday.

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The intimidating arachnids were uncovered by airport security officials, who found the creatures concealed packed away in plastic containers within the man’s luggage.

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Authorities have reportedly suggested that the apprehended man may have planned to extract venom from the scorpions in China, according to the BBC.

Custom officials are said to have fined the man 100,000 rupees for the offense, which is equivalent to around $551.78 at the time of publication. The man was later allowed to return home.

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Sri Lanka is home to 18 species of venomous scorpions, though only one is fatal to humans. Reports have not confirmed whether the seized scorpions were deadly.

Smuggling of exotic wildlife has been an issue for Sri Lanka despite the country having strict laws to curb it from happening, the BBC reported. The news site claims the opposite is happening and wildlife smuggling attempts have increased.

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In June, a senior conservation official and seven others were charged with 33 counts of capturing baby elephants with the intention to sell them to rich clients for $125,000. The illegal trade has been credited for the dropping elephant population in Sri Lanka, according to the South China Morning Post.

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Other prized wildlife targeted by smugglers include scaly anteaters known as pangolins and rare birds’ nests from swallows, both which are trafficked to China and other Asian countries for consumption.

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