Turkey: Arrest Made in Attempted Smuggling of Venomous Spiders and Scorpions Worth Millions of Dollars

Turkish police have arrested a man suspected of attempting to smuggle venomous spiders and scorpions, valued at a high financial amount, out of the country.

Police announced that the market value of one gram of medicine extracted from scorpion venom reaches up to $10 million, as reported by Reuters.

Official media outlets stated that the suspect is the curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Police stated that the suspect was arrested at Istanbul Airport yesterday, and dozens of bags containing around 1,500 scorpions and spiders were seized from his luggage.

While the police did not mention his name, the Turkish agency Anadolu mentioned that the suspect is Lorenzo Brindini, the curator of the American Museum of Natural History, without specifying the source of the information.

Among the confiscated items were spiders of the “tarantula” species, as well as dozens of plastic bottles containing liquids whose nature was not specified, according to the agency.

The police stated that the scorpions and spiders captured are native to Turkey and their DNA can be replicated and their venom extracted for use in medicine, indicating that the suspect faces charges under smuggling laws, without mentioning his name.

They emphasized that “it is understood that these medicines have an extremely high financial value, and therefore, the transportation of these animal species out of the country is strictly prohibited.”

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