Home World News US ‘Museum Curator’ Smuggling 1500 Deadly Scorpions, Spiders Held In Turkey

US ‘Museum Curator’ Smuggling 1500 Deadly Scorpions, Spiders Held In Turkey

The state-owned Anadolu news agency reported the suspect was Lorenzo Prendini, a curator at the historic U.S. museum. The market value of one litre of medicine obtained from scorpion venom is estimated at $10 million.
Turkey scorpion smuggler

ISTANBUL: Turkish police arrested a man suspected of trying to smuggle valuable poisonous spiders and scorpions out of the country. State media identified the suspect on Monday as a curator at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

Police arrested the suspect at Istanbul Airport on Sunday and seized dozens of bags from his luggage containing some 1,500 scorpions and spiders, including tarantulas, as well as dozens of plastic bottles containing unspecified liquids.

The state-owned Anadolu news agency reported the suspect was Lorenzo Prendini, a curator at the historic U.S. museum, without specifying a source.

The American Museum of Natural History did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Prendini could not be reached.

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Police said the specimens seized were endemic to Turkey and that their DNA could be copied and their poisons milked for use in making medicines. The suspect faces charges under anti-smuggling law, it added.

“It is understood that these medicines have very high financial values and therefore taking these animal species abroad is strictly forbidden,” it said.

It said research showed that the market value of one litre of medicine obtained from scorpion venom was worth $10 million.
(REUTERS)

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In a career spanning three decades and counting, I’ve been the foreign editor of The Telegraph, Outlook Magazine and the New Indian Express. I helped set up rediff.com’s editorial operations in San Jose and New York, helmed sify.com, and was the founder editor of India.com. My work has featured in national and international publications like the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Global Times and Ashahi Shimbun. My one constant over all these years, however, has been the attempt to understand rising India’s place in the world. I can rustle up a mean salad, my oil-less pepper chicken is to die for, and it just takes some beer and rhythm and blues to rock my soul.