US curator denies smuggling scorpions and spiders from Istanbul


“The police completely ignored this and relied on the testimony of an ‘expert’ who has a conflict of interest with my collaborators… and whose scientific research is highly questionable,” he said.

“The police have completely violated due process and it appears they would like to find me guilty in the court of public opinion,” he continued.

State media outlet Anadolu reported that the DNA from the species in Mr Prendini’s possession can be used to synthesise expensive medications.

Mr Prendini is the curator of the spider, scorpion, centipede and millipede collections at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, according to the museum’s website.

The South Africa native has travelled to more than 30 countries to conduct his research, according to the profile.

In a video profile on the museum’s website from 2012, Mr Prendini lists several close calls he’s encountered in his field work, including being shot at by police in Puerto Rico and interactions with lions and leopards.


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