A Japanese man was sentenced to two years in prison in Ecuador for attempting to smuggle a massive haul of creepy crawlies out of the country, officials said on Thursday.
The defendant was arrested at the international airport in Quito in March with 248 spiders, cockroaches, wasps, bees and butterflies in his suitcases, the environment ministry said in a statement.
Identified only as Hirokazu S, the smuggler was also fined US$4,000 and ordered to make a public apology in a national newspaper, the ministry said.
Ecuador is home to around 17 million, and is one of the most bio-diverse nations on the planet.
Authorities have banned the capture and sale of all wild animals, but illegal trade persists throughout the Amazon region.
The defendant intended to bring the animals, five of which are indigenous to Ecuador and some of which were still alive, to the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan.