Pattaya Daily News

04 June 2011 :: 08:06:51 am 54490

Hundreds of Reptiles Seized at Thai Airport

Bangkok, 3 June 2011 - Royal Thai Customs seized 451 live reptiles from luggage at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Wednesday night. Collaborating with the CITES Office at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Customs officers detected the contraband in four suitcases with loading tags marked Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Authorities found Indian Star tortoises, Indian Roofed turtles, Asiatic Softshell turtles, and baby Gharials (a type of crocodile). The reptiles, some of which are critically endangered, are estimated to be worth in excess of 1 million Thai baht (USD 33,000) on the black market.

“This latest seizure highlights the continuing illicit wildlife trade link between South and Southeast Asia. We commend Thai authorities on their efforts to stop illegal wildlife trade and encourage both regions to work closely together to tackle the problem,” said FREELAND Senior Program Officer Onkuri Majumdar.

Rare tortoises are smuggled thousands of kilometers around the world due to high demand and high prices paid by collectors and illicit pet traders. In September last year, a Pakistani citizen was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport with 1,140 Star Tortoises after arriving on a Thai Airways flight from South Asia.

Less than two weeks later, a Madagascan national was detained at the airport for attempting to smuggle in 218 critically endangered Radiated and Ploughshare tortoises from Madagascar.

Report by : FREELAND Foundation

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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