OTTAWA – We’ve all heard the saying “ants in my pants.” But “turtles in my pants?” Now that’s a new one.
US Federal Court documents showed this week that a Canadian was caught at the US-Canada border with 51 live turtles stuffed in his pants.
American authorities said that the elaborate reptile smuggling scheme was uncovered last month, but disclosed on Friday, September 26, in a report by the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The newspaper cited that a certain Kai Xu was accosted by Canadian border officials as he tried to cross into Windsor, Ontario from Detroit, Michigan in August. He was then turned over to US authorities.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service said, as quoted by the Globe and Mail, that “Xu was found to have 51 live turtles taped to his person;” the varieties of which included eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders and diamondback terrapins. These varieties of North American turtles fetch as much as $800 on the black market.
Meanwhile, another Canadian national, Lihua Lin, was arrested on Wednesday at the Detroit airport for attempted turtle smuggling, as well.
Lin was bound for Shanghai with over 200 North American pond turtles in his checked luggage. He said that he was dropped off at the airport by Xu.
Although the charges have yet to be proven in a court of law, Xu and Lin face up a maximum prison sentence of 10-years, if convicted of smuggling and other similar offenses.