Lifestyle & Belief

Thousands of caterpillars found in man's bag at Gatwick airport


UK border police at Gatwick found 200 pounds of dried caterpillars in the bag of a man coming from Burkina Faso. It was the largest such haul in UK history.


Romeo Gacad

Over 200 pounds of dried caterpillars were found in a man's bag at London's Gatwick airport last Saturday.

The 22-year-old man, who was traveling from Burkina Faso via Istanbul, told border police that they were for personal consumption.

The giant haul of insects was split over four large bags and shrink-wrapped, seemingly for freshness, reported the Associated Press.

It was estimated that there were tens of thousands of the dried insects - the origins of which are unknown.

The UK warns passengers about bringing food and insects into the country without a permit, said BBC.

The caterpillars will be destroyed officials said.

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The Independent asked an insect expert, Stuart Hine, if the insects posed any threat.

“These are likely to be mopane worms, dried caterpillars of the moth, Gonimbrasia belina,” he told the newspaper.

“These are eaten commonly throughout Africa and are already sold through outlets in the UK, so I can’t see that there is a tangible threat to our food chain.

At market value, the Independent said that the caterpillars were worth about $60,000.