Man arrested at LAX with a chest full of lizards

Customs officials at Los Angeles airport caught a 40 year old passenger trying to sneak past them with undeclared lizards.

Most smugglers hide their loot in their luggage, but this guy had strapped eleven skinks, two geckos and two monitor lizards to his chest. They had been smuggled from Australia, and he obviously did not have an import permit for them.

Surprisingly, this is the second time in a month that a passenger tried to pull this stunt. Back in October, we wrote about a Norwegian passenger who strapped pythons and geckos to himself.

The man has been released on a $10,000 bond, and is expected to be face the court next month. There is apparently a big market for these animals, and since many of them are strictly regulated, people are willing to pay top Dollar to add them to their collection. The lizards caught in LA were worth just under $600 each.


Customs finds snakes and geckos strapped to passenger

The fine folks at Travelocity did a poll a couple of months ago to find out the most annoying type of passenger to be seated next to on an airplane. People with poor hygiene and those who cough or sneeze came out on top, but there’s one category they missed–the guy with reptiles strapped to his body.

Customs officials in Norway have arrested a man who had 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos hidden under his clothing. He had rolled up the pythons in socks and put the geckos inside boxes, and then taped them to his chest and legs. The animals had a total value of about $10,000.

While that’s pretty high on the ick scale, the scariest thing is that officials didn’t become suspicious until they did a routine check of his luggage and found a tarantula, at which point they searched him. This amazing video shows him all geared up and ready to fly.

This story begs the question–how often do people get away with this? How often have you sat next to someone covered in creepy crawlies? And how would you know?

Enjoy your flight!