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German officials seize cooked bats near Belgian border

BERLIN (AP) — German officials seized cooked bats and nearly a ton of unrefrigerated fish after police stopped a van that had entered the country from Belgium, authorities said Wednesday.

Federal police said a patrol on Monday stopped the vehicle at a highway exit on the edge of the border city of Aachen, and found the bats under the fish. A vet from the local consumer protection office was sent to the scene and ordered the bats and fish confiscated. Police seized the van, which was uninsured.

The 31-year-old driver, an Ivorian citizen, faced a criminal complaint for traffic offenses and unauthorized entry because he entered the country without papers or a driver’s license, police said in a statement. He also faces administrative proceedings for violations of food hygiene rules, and local authorities were looking into whether he violated conservation laws relating to the bats.

A court in Aachen on Tuesday ordered the driver held in custody pending his handover to authorities in Italy, where he was registered as living.

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