Turkish authorities detain American museum director for smuggling endemic animals

In an operation organized by Turkish authorities at Istanbul Airport, Lorenzo Prendini, a curator at an American museum, was arrested with approximately 1,500 endemic scorpions, tarantulas, and spiders in his suitcase, as well as 88 plastic bottles believed to contain animal poisons.

Duvar English

Turkish authorities on April 13 detained Lorenzo Prendini, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, at Istanbul Airport on “endemic animal smuggling charges.”

In an anti-smuggling operation organized at the airport, the authorities found 88 plastic tube bottles containing liquids and 58 clip-on bags with approximately 1,500 scorpions, tarantulas, and spiders endemic to Turkey in the American museum curator's suitcase.

Anti-Smuggling Branch Directorate presents the animals found in the Prendini's suitcase.

Istanbul Security Directorate Anti-Smuggling Branch Directorate teams have detected that the DNA information of endemic species of poisonous animals living in Turkey was copied and their poisons were used in drug production.

Prendini, an expert on spiders, scorpions, and tarantulas (Arachnologist), who arrived in Turkey a few weeks ago, has been accused of capturing endemic animals in various provinces of the country.

It is reported that the market value of one liter of drug obtained from the venom of these animals is $10 million.