Some people will go to great lengths to get away with a crime. For example, a 69-year-old German man was recently caught trying to smuggle tortoises through customs. The pitiful attempt included carrying them through the airport in a donut box.
IFLScience reports that the man took a plane from Cairo to Schönefeld airport in Germany. The entire time, he carried what appeared to be a pack of pastries from Etoile Patisserie. In reality, the package contained three endangered tortoises.
The man was ready to leave the airport when customs officials questioned him about the contents of the pastry box. Officials noticed that the “pastries” looked nothing like food. In fact, they looked exactly like tortoises being smuggled in a pastry box.
Upon being questioned, the 69-year-old man informed officials that the tortoises weren’t donuts, but “chocolates.” Germany is the land of chocolate, so that excuse didn’t fly. The chocolates were determined to be Moroccan tortoises, an endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, says a press release from Potsdam’s Customs Office.
The man in question now faces prosecution. Infringement of the species protection regulations in Germany is punishable with fines of up to €50,000 ($57,000) or up to five years in jail.
The tortoises, on the other hand, are doing well. After they were confiscated from the man, the three tortoises were delivered to a border veterinarian to be looked after. They have since been declared to be in good health.
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