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Spider man stopped at German border

A Swiss man has been caught trying to take 164 trapdoor spiders into Germany.

Officials found the spiders, some as large as a hand, in plastic bags and sealed inside boxes in the man's car as he attempted to cross the Basel border.

He was also transporting 45 buckets filled with cockroaches to be used as food for the spiders.

The man, whose name was not released, was planning to sell the spiders at a fair in Germany but officials from the Lörrach border town said he did not have a legal permit to own them.

"The customs officers of course did not open anything, they understood straight away what they were dealing with," said spokesman Markus Ückert.

The man faces a complaint for tax fraud and a charge of breaching a wildlife protection law.

Trapdoor spiders do not spin webs but construct tubes in the earth with a trapdoor.

They are more commonly found in the United States, South Asia, Australia and parts of southern Europe.

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