A 68-year-old man from the Netherlands pleaded not guilty to charges after he was found in possession of stuffed birds in his suitcase at the airport as he was leaving Malta for the UK.

The birds were traced during security checks at the airport on Friday.

Fifteen birds of various species were going to be exported without the required permits, with 13 of them receiving high protection under international law, the police said in a statement. 

The police said the man is suspected to be involved in international illegal business.

He was taken to court on Saturday morning before Magistrate Joseph Gatt, where he pleaded not guilty and was kept under arrest.

The investigations by the police are still ongoing.

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