Over 40 human skulls have been discovered at the home of an Italian expatriate in Burundi, local police have reported.
Police have refused to divulge any further details about the discovery at Giussepe Favaro's residence but it is known that the Italian national was arrested on 31 October, after Burundian police intercepted a package from Favaro containing two human skulls. The package was bound for Thailand via Bujumbura International Airport.
Favaro has been a resident of Burundi for many years and is known within the country as Kassim Abdoulgani.
"Kassim Abdoulgani also known as Giussepe Favaro, who is an Italian living in Bujumbura for several decades, was the owner of the package containing two human skulls that was intercepted at Bujumbura International Airport," said Salvator Nizigiyimana, the Burundian National Post [Burundi's Postal Service's] chief.
"The Italian national was a client of the National Post since 1999 as he has been sending art objects abroad. The agent wasn't careful to check his packages, and the package containing the two human skulls managed to get a green light to go," Nizigiyimana added.
The Sub-Saharan African nation's main exports are usually cotton and coffee as opposed to the unsual transportation of human remains; however there have been previously reported cases of African albino body parts being traded for their supposedly miraculous powers.
In 2009, eight people were arrested in Burundi in connection with trading human body parts of albinos.
The lucrative trade is also prominent in neighbouring Tanzania but it is unclear if this was the reason that Favaro was collecting skulls at his residence.
Burundi is the second poorest country in the world, according to the World Bank, with a GDP per Capita of $560, and the country is still trying to recover from the effects of a protracted 13-year civil war which ended in 2005.