Twenty live giant millipedes were seized after arriving from Germany in a large foam box labeled “toy car model” and landing at a San Francisco mail facility.
The large package arrived in the U.S. Postal Service International Service Center at SFO and was run as usual through x-ray screening.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists singled out the package for further inspection due to an anomaly observed during x-ray. Upon further examination, the package was found to contain the giant, foot-long millipedes inside a large mesh bag within a large foam box. The bag also contained large chunks of soil and paper.
“Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists routinely x-ray and inspect packages arriving from foreign locations for contraband and other prohibited items before they are permitted to enter the U.S.,” said Brian J. Humphrey, CBP director of Field Operations in San Francisco, who further stated, “The agriculture specialists on duty were quick to notice the deception and took the necessary action.”
CBP reported that importing exotic animals is not illegal; however, these imports do require permits and documentation and are regulated by federal agencies.
As this package was misrepresented with the label “toy car model” and lacked proper documentation and permits, it was turned over to USDA. The package was referred for additional action, to the USDA-Smuggling Interdiction and Trade.
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