Dutch police catch woman smuggling eight songbirds through Schiphol

“Chirp, Chirp” — did you hear that? It might be someone trying to smuggle live animals past Schiphol’s custom control. We’re not joking. In October, a woman was caught in the act while trying to smuggle eight songbirds from Suriname to Russia. 

During her pitstop in the Netherlands, officers found the animals hidden away in a karaoke set — yes, a literal karaoke set. 

And she’s not alone

You might be surprised, but this story is not an unusual one. According to nu.nl, Dutch police and customs control confiscated a total of 647 live animals in October alone.

In another incident, officers at Schipol airport found 145 (!) reptiles and amphibians in a smuggler’s suitcase. So far, no arrests have been made. After spending a night in jail our songbird smuggler was let go again. 

Of course, we’ve heard of drug smugglers before — remember the pineapple-cocaine incident? But why animals? 🤔 

So, what’s so great about animals?

Most of the time, it’s because the animals are protected in their country of origin, such as the songbirds in Surinam. 

This means they can be sold for a really high price on foreign black markets. Alongside living and breathing animals, the trade with products made from protected plant and animal species is also flourishing. In October, Dutch police dealt with over 2,300 of these cases. 

The Netherlands is actively partaking in the global combat against the illegal trade with protected plants and animals. 

It’s especially important to protect biodiversity and the well-being of the animals which are being smuggled. We’ll take a wild guess here and say the eight birds were not too comfortable in that karaoke kit. 


What do you think of this wild (tee hee) story? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.


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