ARUSHA, Tanzania (AA) – Tanzanian police have detained a 49-year-old Belgian woman after airport authorities found a human skull in her possession.
According to Tanzania Airport Police Commander Hamisi Suleiman, Christine Weejktgns, who claimed to be a researcher, was departing the country through Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport when she was arrested.
“After she passed through the airport security scanner, police and security officers became suspicious over what they saw in her bag,” Suleiman told the Anadolu Agency.
“They did a thorough check of the suspected luggage to find a human skull in a plastic wrapping,” he said.
During initial questioning, Weejktgns claimed that the skull was her property.
“The suspect said that she came with the skull from her home country without clarifying how and where she got it,” Suleiman said.
Apart from knowing how, where and when Weejktgns obtained the skull, police are also questioning the Belgian woman to determine whose skull it is.
“We [the police] are investigating to find out why the suspect decided to carry a human skull all the way from Belgium to Tanzania as she claims, and why she is taking it back again,” the police official said.
In Tanzania, it’s illegal for anyone to possess or own any part of a human body. Violators face fines, imprisonment or both.
“Police cannot just sit down letting anyone, even if they are not Tanzanian citizens, breach the law and go free. We are investigating before taking the necessary steps,” Suleiman said.
In August of last year, security officers at the same airport nabbed a Vietnamese national who had tried to leave the country with hundreds of lion teeth and claws said to be worth more than $150,000.
And in January, police at the same airport found someone in possession of almost 150 live lizards.
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