At Schiphol, Customs officials intercepted some 170,000 glass eels. The baby eels were hidden in four suitcases and together weighed 54 kilograms. The live animals were in plastic bags filled with water.
The suitcases belonged to two people who wanted to fly to Malaysia. They have been arrested.
The European eel is on the red list of endangered species. Import and export of the animals is only allowed if strict rules are met. According to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the animals could yield tens of thousands of euros in Asia.
Last year there was also a large glass eel catch at Schiphol. Then Customs and the NVWA confiscated about 300,000 young eels. These ‘box eels’ were then released into Lake Veluwe.
It is not yet known where the glass eels that were intercepted yesterday will be released.
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