A German professor who was found to have a human skull in his suitcase told officials that he purchased it from a market.
The professor claimed that he bought the skull for $56 at a market stall in Rome on April 3, according to the Daily Mail.
When questioned by officials about the macabre find in his suitcase, he reportedly said, "I bought it used at a stand for scientific purposes. It was well polished, but without its lower jaw."
The middle-aged man was charged with illegal possession of human remains at Rome’s Fiumicino airport as he was about to board a flight to Dusseldorf on April 4, reports TheLocal.it via Il Messaggero.
The professor was allegedly oblivious to the consequences of the purchase and is said to have been shocked when authorities arrested him.
Border police later sent the skull to be examined by Italy’s Scientific Police, who will determine its origin.
In March, the Daily Mail reported that a passenger tried to smuggle 55 dead seahorses into Texas from Vietnam. The man did not declare any agriculture-related items through customs, and the seahorses were later seized by staff at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Travelers are limited to carrying up to four seahorses per person.