A passenger was caught by airport staff after he tried to smuggle a live snake onto a plane, authorities said. The 43-year-old man was boarding a flight to Israel from Berlin at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport on Christmas Eve.

German customs officers said, in a press release, that the boa constrictor was concealed in the man's pants and he was caught when security noticed a large bulge in his trousers. During a search, airport security found the small snake, which was wrapped in a cloth bag. The reptile was tied with a cord before being shoved down the man’s pants.

The passenger was unable to provide supporting documents and the snake was confiscated, according to the press release. The man will face a fine for attempting to smuggle the animal on board.

In a statement by airport security, the bizarre incident was described as "the most curious find of 2018."

Snakes are protected under the Washington Convention on the Protection of Cities (CITES). The import of boas in the European Union is tightly regulated and requires written approval.

In September, an airline passenger flew from Düsseldorf to Moscow with 20 snakes in his hand luggage. The unnamed passenger said he bought the non-venomous serpents from a German market. However, the passenger lacked the correct documents because of which the reptiles were placed in quarantine in Moscow.

In another incident that took place in November, a venomous snake was found in a traveler's bag at India's Cochin International Airport. The reptile was reportedly discovered by officials after the bag was sent through a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) X-ray scanner. Police detained the passenger, who was not allowed to board his Abu Dhabi-bound flight.

The passenger was later released after it was determined that the reptile was stowed in the bag unknowingly inside a sack of potatoes the passenger had purchased.