Chinese couple caught smuggling 72 kilos of live eels at Schiphol airport

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The RAI hotel seen from the A10 (Picture: Rem Koolhaas / OMA)The RAI hotel seen from the A10 (Picture: Rem Koolhaas / OMA)

The Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA and Customs arrested a Chinese couple on Easter Monday for trying to smuggle 72 kilograms of live eels through Schiphol to China, the NVWA announced. The European eels were found in 36 plastic bags that were filled with water and hidden in six regular suitcases. 

According to the NVWA, the eels have a street value of around 115 thousand euros in China. An official report was filed against the Chinese couple and they will have to appear in court in July.

The European eel was listed as a protected species in 2009 due to its declining population. The export of European eels is subject to strict rules and requires a CITES export permit, which the couple did not have.