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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Weird Wednesday

Today's Weird Wednesday brings you some bizarre smuggling tales involving snakes and sausages (and the odd lizard thrown in for good measure). Parental advisory: today's post has content that some of you may not want your young kids to read.

The first tale of smuggling involves a man who allegedly stole three endangered Fiji Island banded iguanas from a nature reserve on the island. The iguanas are protected by an international treaty which regulates trade in endangered species. Jereme James, 33, of Long Beach, Los Angeles, found an ingenious way of smuggling them into the United States. He hid them in his prosthetic leg, and now risks five years in jail for his legless lizard antics. Prosecutors allege James hollowed out a special compartment in his leg, to hide the creatures. He was caught after a tip-off to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who launched an undercover probe. James unwittingly confessed to covert investigators that he had sold three of the iguanas for $32,000 (approx. £64,000).

Employees at a butcher's shop in Mannheim, Germany, discovered a shocking new use for their jumbo-sized "Schwartenmagen" sausages. One day, a man who conversed in broken English, purchased a number of the sausages. He returned to the shop a little later, with two of the sausages. He asked a shop assistant to wrap them up and chill them for him, until he left for Dubai the following day. But the assistant grew suspicious upon realising the sausages had grown a lot heavier, and called the police. The officers who arrived discovered a surprise lurking within the sausages. "It was two latex dildos with a natural look," explained a police spokesman. The man had scooped out some of the meat and packed the sex toys inside. "He could have used a loaf of bread," the spokesman continued. "It's not against the law here. But obviously I can't speculate on what customs in Dubai will have to say about it."

Customs officers in Stockholm, Sweden had a much nastier surprise. They grew suspicious of a woman who kept scratching her chest. When they searched her, they discovered she had 75 live baby snakes in her bra. When questioned after her arrest, she said she intended starting a reptile centre.

But customs officers at Cairo airport got the worst surprise of all. When airport scanners revealed strange shapes in an Egyptian man's hand luggage, officers decided to investigate further. When asked to open his bag, the Saudi Arabia-bound passenger, Yahia Rahim Tulba, confessed that it contained live snakes. As he opened his bag, he asked officers not to come too close, and they eagerly obliged. His illicit haul included two live and highly venomous cobras. Tulba had been hoping to sell the snakes in Saudi Arabia, for a decent profit, either to research centres, or Saudi shopkeepers, who like to display snakes in glass jars. Police confiscated his haul, and Tulba now faces charges of contravening export laws and endangering the lives of fellow passengers.

Mr. Tulba's tale concludes this week's Weird Wednesday. More weirdness next week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny stuff - thanks.
Reminds me of a few months back when I went to a concert in Bristol. We were told cameras were not allowed, and any bags would be searched at the entrance. I desperately wanted to take a few photos of the band, whom I`d wanted to see for years, so decided to sneak in an old film camera. Where was the security guard least likely to look, I thought? In my underpants, of course! My bag was searched on entry, but the brute didn`t seem to notice the large bulge in my groin. Probably just thought I was unusually well-hung!