A traveler from Vietnam with 20 dead seahorses in his suitcase was caught at Berlin airport. He now faces a significant fine.

At Berlin Bandenburg Airport last Friday (May 17th), customs confiscated 20 dead, some of them pregnant, seahorses that were in Styrofoam containers in the suitcase of a traveler from Vietnam.

The 45-year-old man previously purchased these from a dealer in Vietnam for just 5 euros.

According to customs, seahorses are listed in Appendix B of the EU Species Protection Regulation. This is the second highest protection class. Imports and exports to and from the European Union are strictly regulated and generally require prior approval from a species protection authority in an EU member state. 

As the Potsdam main customs office further announced, the traveler was unable to present a permit. Customs therefore confiscated the animals and informed the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. In the event of a penalty, the traveler faces a fine of up to 50,000 euros.

On the occasion of today’s International Day of Biological Diversity, customs appeals to refrain from purchasing and importing protected animals and plants. Only if demand stops and there is no longer a market for these goods will the destructive trade in rare animals and plants stop.

Last year alone, customs found almost 1,300 items nationwide and confiscated 4,473 kilograms and over 54,000 pieces of protected animals and plants or goods made from them.

The officials from the main customs office in Heilbronn were also amazed. The Batmobile recently landed with them. A comic fan had previously purchased the vehicle abroad. 

The new week also begins with severe thunderstorms across a wide strip of Germany. The German Weather Service warns of severe thunderstorms and possible floods in large parts of Germany. Read everything important in the weather ticker.

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