A Canadian resident was caught on the U.S, Canadian border with 51 turtles attached to his body as he attempted to try and smuggle the reptiles across the border from southeastern Michigan.
The perpetrator, Kai Xu, pleaded guilty to six crimes in federal court in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is facing 10 years in federal prison. Kai Xu would order the turtles online, then travel to the U.S where he would pick them up, as the turtles are cheaper in the U.S. He would then ship them or take them to Canada where he would sell them for a profit. Xu has been involved with several turtle heists that are worth between $30,000 and $125,000 because the turtles are worth three to four times as much in China as in the United States.
Xu identifies himself as an engineering student at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario but the university has stated that he wasn’t currently enrolled at the time of his arrest. Prior to his arrest in September of 2014, Xu was under surveillance in Detroit where it shows him picking up a shipment of turtles, hiding behind a truck and then emerging from behind the truck with bulges in his sweat pants.
Xu was returning to Ontario where he was stopped by the Canadian border patrol and discovered with 51 box turtles and terrapin turtles taped to his legs. Even after the bust, he still managed to smuggle turtles when it was thought that he had stopped. The case is still under investigation but both the U.S and Canadian border patrol are on the lookout for further illegal activity with the exportation of wildlife.