An airline passenger was arrested this week at Boston’s Logan International Airport after trying to illegally import four mummified monkeys from the Democratic Republic of Congo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a release.
The arrest was made Thursday, when a CBP K-9 unit Buddey sniffed out the monkeys after the suspect’s Delta flight landed from Paris on Thursday.
The remains are referred to as “bushmeat,” meaning raw or minimally processed meat of wild animals, which is illegal in the U.S. due to the risk of disease.
“The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real,” Julio Caravia, Area Port Director – CBP Boston, said in a statement. “Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus. The work of CBP’s K9 unit and Agricultural Specialist were vital in preventing this potential danger from entering the U.S.,” he added.
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The unidentified suspect at first told officials the bag only had dried fish inside.
An X-ray didn’t uncover the remains, but the monkeys were found during a physical inspection of the suspect’s luggage.
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The remains were wrapped in a blanket that was inside a basket in a box, according to FOX 25.
CBP said it immediately contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC asked for the bags containing the monkeys to either be destroyed or sent back to Paris.
CBP said the bags will be destroyed.
CBP didn’t say what charges the suspect might face.
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