Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eels fail to slip through customs

The largest seizure in the European Union took place in Szczecin, northern Poland where customs officials confiscated 25,000 kilogrammes of endangered frozen eels.

The eels were smuggled from China and were meant to be delivered to a buyer in the Warminsko-Mazurskie region of Poland, in the northeast.

A cargo container with the eels – specially protected under international conventions for nature conservancy – declared that they were Japanese eels, which are a not protected as an endangered species.

Customs officials ordered DNA testing and determined that the eels, which entered the country from Hamburg, Germany, were in fact a rare species of Chinese eel. The total value of the confiscated goods is estimated at about 500,000 zloty (122,000 euro).