UK & World News
Giant Foot-Long Millipedes Seized At US Airport
US customs officials have prevented a bid to smuggle 20 foot-long giant millipedes into the country inside a parcel supposedly containing a toy car.
The package, from Germany, containing the illicit creepy crawly cargo was intercepted by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff working at the international mail facility at San Francisco airport.
Watchful officials decided to inspect the parcel further after putting it through an x-ray machine and noticing "an anomaly".
The package, marked 'toy car model', contained a large plastic foam box, which when opened revealed a large mesh bag containing 20 live foot-long millipedes, along with soil and paper.
Brian J. Humphrey, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco, said: "Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists routinely x-ray and inspect packages arriving from foreign locations for contraband and other prohibited items before they are permitted to enter the US.
"The agriculture specialists on duty were quick to notice the deception and took the necessary action."
While it is not illegal to import exotic animals, these are regulated and require certain permits and documentation.
The package containing the insects has been turned over to investigators as it "was misrepresented in an attempt to bypass federal regulations".