Couple arrested with tortoises at Stansted - Stansted Airport News

Airport news for Stansted on 20/07/2009.

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Officers at Stansted airport were given a tip that the couple, both in the early forties, might be carrying tortoises back from their trip to Greece.

After police arrested the pair, they then raided the couple’s east London home, where they found an Asian pit viper and two more tortoises.

The couple arrived back in the UK after a trip to Corfu, and found five police officers waiting for them as they came off the plane.

In addition to the three tortoises found in their carry-on bags, there were four more in their checked luggage, found wrapped in socks.

One was found in a small bag, strapped down with electrical tape to stop it from moving around.

PC Andy Long, who co-ordinates wildlife crime for the Essex Police Force, said: “You can tell when an animal is unhappy just by looking at it and that one looked miserable.”

He added: “It has been known for people to bring them back in order to pay for their holiday. They can sell them on for as much as £50 to £100 on the black market.”

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