Traveler arrested for smuggling 18 monkeys through customs, under his clothing (photos, video)
World Travelers are very careful not to travel with anything that could cause them to be held up or, heaven forbid, arrested at check in. Even that bottle of sunscreen that’s more than the 3oz can cause delay and confiscation.
So what do you think of the traveler who tried to smuggle 18 monkeys through customs in his clothing?
Mexican authorities have just arrested a man because he was attempting to smuggle 18 small monkeys into the country by hiding them in his clothing, reports the BBC
Roberto Sol Cabrera, who is a Mexican citizen, was stopped as part of a random check at Mexico City’s international airport when he landed from Lima.
Police reported that Mr Cabrera Zavaleta had been behaving “nervously” and had a bulge around his stomach, said CNN.
Officials searched the man and found he had hidden 18 titi monkeys in a girdle around his waist.
After his arrest, Mr Sol Cabrera admitted to having put the monkeys at first in his luggage, then later under his clothing “to protect them from X-rays” as he passed through the customs checkpoint.
Stuffed into socks, and slung on his belt, two of the tiny titi monkeys were dead at the time the confiscation took place. The species is on the Endangered List.
Mr. Sol Cabrera will remain in custody as he had no permit for transporting the monkeys. Mr. Cabrera said he paid $30 for each monkey in Peru, said the Huffington Post. They were valued at between $775 and $1550 in Mexico.
Adrian Reuter, who represents Traffic – an international organization that monitors wildlife trade – told the BBC that animal trafficking is a serious problem in Mexico.
“The reasons are two: one, because Mexico is an important route for those who want to smuggle animals into the US, and the other, because, as in other countries of Latin America, there is a deep-rooted tradition of having wild animals as pets,” he said.
The Sonora market, in the Mexican capital, is known to sell parrots, monkeys or reptiles for private owners.
Cabrera was arrested and charged with trafficking an endangered species, reports CBS.
It just goes to show: you just never know what your fellow world traveler may be carrying with them, do you?
Re travel: San Francisco residents can find flights to Mexico or any other country by checking out deals at www.kayak.com. Flights leave from the SFO International aiport
Follow Sheila on Twitter
Feel free to comment below.
See the “If You Like This” box above for more travel stories related to airport security.