Thousands of Caterpillars Found in Passenger Luggage at London Airport

Caterpillars found, Dried Caterpillars, Caterpillars in luggage at Gatwick airport

Photo via UK Border Force

It was a quite unusual day for the London-Gatwick Airport security team. On February 23rd they seized 200 pounds worth of dried caterpillars from a man’s luggage. The man, 22, from Burkina Faso in Africa, traveled to London via Istanbul, Turkey. He claimed that the insects were for his own “personal consumption”, BBC reports.


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A UK Border security official said:

When officers checked his luggage they discovered the 94kg (207lb) of dried insects shrink-wrapped in cellophane, which had been packed into four hessian bags. The man claimed that they were for personal consumption and that they were to be used as food.

The legality of bringing such an amount of alien insects across borders breached importation laws in the UK. Ingrid Smith of the UK’s Border Force told ITV News:

This was an unusual seizure but the vigilance of our officers has stopped these dried insects from entering the UK, and possibly posing a risk to our food chain. I would warn travellers not to attempt to bring any products of animal origin into the UK without a permit, as they may not have been inspected to appropriate standards and may contain diseases

The insects will be destroyed.