File picture: Pixabay

Dusseldorf - Twenty-two live tarantulas were found in an abandoned suitcase at Dusseldorf airport on Tuesday, customs authorities said.

When the suitcase's owner was located and interviewed, the 48-year-old man from Essen said he was a breeder of tarantulas and that some of the ones in the suitcase were carrying young.

The man, who had been travelling from Paraguay to Germany, is now under investigation for attempted tax evasion because the tarantulas are deemed a commercial import, the customs office said.

The tarantulas have been confiscated so that veterinarians can determine the state of their health, it added.