Crazy & Funny

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Live Tarantulas Smuggled into US

A German man, who smuggled live tarantulas in to the USA, has admitted his crime.
Sven Koppler from Wachtberg, posted the spiders to US buyers from his home in Germany as well as to other people all over the world. It has been estimated that he earned over $295,000 from doing this.
One of the breeds that he was smuggling was a protected species, the red-kneed tarantula and the export of this spider is very restricted.
He was eventually caught by an investigator who pretended to be a potential buyer. The wildlife investigator, who worked for the fish and wildlife service agency, had arranged to buy a particular spider from him and the live tarantulas, including some rare breeds, were sent in the post. The parcels were labelled up as gifts and the contents were described as being glass cannisters.

Exports like this, should be declared to customs, which is why people are asked to label parcels with what the contents are inside them. The prosecutors were aware that the tarantulas were a protected species and they also knew that some of them were obtained by South African suppliers.
The man was caught when he arranged to meet a buyer in Los Angeles in December. It has recently been revealed that Mr Koppler plans to plead guilty to the offence of smuggling the spiders. He will be sentenced in April and it is possible that he could be put in jail for 20 years in a federal prison.
It has been estimated that last year alone he smuggled more than 240 spiders to the USA from his home in Germany. It is assumed that people were buying them as pets without realising that they were receiving something that was a protected species and should not have been sent to them

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