Man attempts to smuggle 51 turtles in his pants

Man attempts to smuggle 51 turtles in his pants
(Image credit: iStock)

If he'd only stopped at an even 50, he probably would have gotten away with it: Federal prosecutors say a Canadian man was caught trying to smuggle 51 turtles in his sweatpants.

Kai Xu was nabbed during a surveillance operation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents, The Guardian reports. On Aug. 5, agents said they witnessed Xu disappear behind two semi-trailers in a Detroit parking lot. He came back about 10 minutes later with "irregularly shaped bulges" under his sweatpants. He was stopped by Canadian border patrol agents as he tried to enter the Windsor, Ontario, crossing.

The North American pond turtles — which Xu taped to his legs and groin — could have been worth $1,300 to $1,500 each, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent said. There has been an increase in turtle smuggling due to high demand in Asian food and collector markets, he added.

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Xu has been indicted on illegal smuggling charges and violations of the endangered species act. The turtles were taken in by Fish and Wildlife agents, and the sweatpants were probably burned.

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