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Sun 15 Feb 2015 01:36 PM

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Dubai Customs discovers 3-metre python in passenger's luggage

African passenger reportedly tells customer officials that he planned to eat the snake found in baggage

Dubai Customs discovers 3-metre python in passenger's luggage
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

Dubai Customs has warned passengers to declare when carrying animals, dead or alive, into the country.

Speaking to Emirates 24/7, Hassan Ibrahim, senior inspection officer at Dubai Airport, recalled one incident when a passenger travelling from Africa was found to be carrying a dead python snake, measuring over three metres in length, in his luggage.

When asked about the unusual choice of cargo, the passenger told custom officials in Dubai: “I will eat it. It is our traditional food in my country.”

The snake was confiscated and dispatched to a Dubai regulatory authority for tests on its skin and meat, in accordance with the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites).

“Cites is a worldwide agreement, so if any animal is brought into the UAE that’s not listed under Cites, it is subject to approval by another authority, the Ministry of Environment and Water,” explained bin Lahej said.

He added that anyone caught smuggling animals into the country is referred to Dubai Police for further investigations.

“I have to do my job, I have to do my work, to make sure people don’t have anything illegal in their possession, because I don’t want them to cause any harm to my country, our society, the people and the residents,” he explains.

The man caught with the python in his luggage, however was not referred to Dubai Police as “it was more to do with his culture”.

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