A TRAVELLER who flew into Bilbao airport has been arrested for having 38 live giant African snails in his luggage.
The man had arrived in the Basque Country from Nigeria via Paris.
Guardia Civil officers were carrying out routine checks on suitcases in the airport arrivals area when they got suspicious about a bag inside a suitcase.
They opened it up to discover 38 of the live snails with an average size of ten centimetres each.
The snails belong to the ‘Achatina Fulica’ species which is regarded internationally as one of the worst snail pests.
Although they can be pets and also used in cooking, they transmit parasites that can cause serious health problems to humans.
They also create an ecological imbalance in ecosystems due to their destructive capacity for crops and transmitting plant pathogens, which could result millions of euros in financial losses.
The passenger has been denounced for breaking natural heritage and biodiversity laws, with a report sent to the Basque regional government for them to take legal action against him.
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