Tortoises seized by airport customs after being covered in tape and strapped to the bottom of suitcase

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The Marginated tortoises were discovered by customs officials at Munich airport (Picture: CEN)
The Marginated tortoises were discovered by customs officials at Munich airport (Picture: CEN)

A couple who wrapped two tortoises in tape and stuck them to the bottom of a suitcase were arrested by stunned customs officials in Germany.

When the case was opened by officials at Munich International Airport , they were shocked to discover that the tortoises had been mummified in thick layers of tape to stop them moving, sealed under plastic bags inside the case.

The Marginated tortoises, which can grow up to to 14 inches (35 centimetres) and weigh 11 lbs (5 kilograms), are the largest species of tortoise in Europe.

The Munich Customs Unit the tortoises covered in sticky tape (Picture: CEN)
The Munich Customs Unit the tortoises covered in sticky tape (Picture: CEN)
They had been covered in plastic bags and sticky tape (Picture: CEN)
They had been covered in plastic bags and sticky tape (Picture: CEN)

Customs officials discovered the creatures after they noticed that the contents of the case was moving during a routine search.

The French couple who transported the reptiles are now facing a substantial fine, and claim that they ‘found’ the pair in a park in Greek capital Athens.

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They say that they had intended to bring them back as pets for their children.

The marginated tortoises are now reported to be recovering from their ordeal at a nearby animal shelter after they were handed over by authorities.

It’s yet to be proven whether the couple genuinely intended to give the pets to their children – but they now face criminal charges and will have to pay the full cost of caring for the animals and flying them back home to Greece.

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