San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Animal trafficking

Costa Rica police seize 170 wild animals from German tourist's luggage

Update: A more thorough revision of the animals by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) put the final count of animals at 235 adults and 203 tadpoles. Of the adult animals 184 were frogs, 42 were lizards and 9 were snakes. SINAC also corrected the name of the arrested man. Police previously reported that his last name was Maciej.

Original story (with name correction) continues below:

San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport is often busy, but it became a zoo on Tuesday when police discovered 170 live animals in the luggage of a passenger headed to Panama.

According to police, the 31-year-old German Maciej Oksrora was behaving suspiciously before his check-in at the airport, prompting airport officials to search his bags. Inside, they found frogs, snakes and lizards concealed in plastic bags and take-out food containers. Maciej put lettuce leaves in each of the containers presumably to feed his collection of hungry reptiles and amphibians. 

The suspect failed to present proper paperwork to transport the animals and was arrested. According to Costa Rican law, Maciej faces fines up to 40 times a monthly salary, or one to three years in prison.

He was turned over to the local prosecutor’s office, where the investigation continues.

The 31-year-old German planned to check the luggage containing the creatures.

(Courtesy of the Public Security Ministry)

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He shouldn’t have done this in the first place, extremely unethical behavior, but he was also extremely stupid because he could have easily gone in a bus through Sixaola without a single problem.

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Mario Borbon

have a great vacation buddy Heiss!

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Rick Nelson

On any given day, in any edition of this paper (and others also), you can draw a nearly straight line and connect the dots of why things like this happen. For example the turtle egg poaching, the high crime rate in San Carlos, the pregnant women packed with herbicides and on and on…. all due to poverty imposed on the Costa Rican citizens by those wanting to make one big National Park. It all boils down to very few jobs. If this German was for example a miner everybody would ignorantly be calling for outlawing all mining. Since he was a tourist – WHY AREN’T WE ALL CALLING FOR A BAN ON TOURISTS?

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Visiškai Nepritariantis

He just needed to get papers for export. It’s not so easy, takes longer, but you do not get locked :D

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Stupid is as stupid does.

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Don’t these sorts of fools ever consider that their luggage will be scanned in the bowels of the airport before it is loaded onto the plane? So if he hadn’t been antsy and caused suspicion while waiting to board then he’d’ve been found out later!

As to using the bus, if he’d acted suspicious at the border wouldn’t they have inspected his luggage there, too? Or inspected it even if he hadn’t acted odd?

And good for the animals because even tho it was to be a relatively short flight to Panamá, some of those creatures could’ve been killed by the cold in an unheated luggage compartment.

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