MALAGA, Spain – A tourist who arrived for a holiday on the Costa del Sol faces a huge fine after he smuggled seahorses into his luggage.
Customs officers at Malaga airport were amazed when they opened the man’s case and found the stash of dead seahorses inside.
The Chinese national had packed the tiny creatures into two plastic bags and hidden them among his clothes.
He arrived on a flight from Cali in Colombia, via Amsterdam, and had his suitcase checked when he showed signs of nerves.
The Civil Guard said the dried seahorses weighed about two kilograms.
The man told police they were for his personal consumption but he now faces prosecution for breaching the rules on export and imports and smuggling protected flora and fauna.
Seahorses have been exploited for years for their medicinal and ornamental properties and are now in danger of extinction.
In some countries, they are considered a delicacy and are often made into a soup.
The Chinese also believe that eating dried seahorses can be a cure for a flagging libido.