Ontario man fined for smuggling medicinal leeches in carry-on
A Canadian Border Services agent stands watch at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)
An Ontario man was fined $15,000 after being caught smuggling leeches in his carry-on luggage from Russia to Toronto, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
On October 17, 2018, the Canada Border Services Agency found that the passenger arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, with a large amount of live leeches in his carry-on, Environment Canada announced Monday in a release.
Last Friday, Ippolit Bodounov of Niagara Falls, Ont., was fined $15,000, had to forfeit the animals to authorities, and is prohibited from importing, exporting and possessing any endangered flora and fauna for one year.
Bodounov had not obtained a permit to import the leeches.
Testing done on the leeches determined they were all caught in the wild and were identified as Hirudo verbana, a medicinal leech that is under regulations to control wildlife trade.