Bangkok customs officials charge six after finding 87 animals, including lizards, birds, a monkey, and snakes.
Bangkok customs officials charge six after finding 87 animals, including lizards, birds, a monkey, and snakes.

Wildlife smuggling attempt thwarted in Thailand

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Bangkok customs officials charge six after finding 87 animals, including lizards, birds, a monkey, and snakes.

Arrest of Indian Nationals

Thai customs officials have apprehended six Indian nationals at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport for attempting to smuggle a variety of wild animals out of the country.

Discovery of Smuggled Animals

Officers discovered a total of 87 animals, including a red panda, cotton-top tamarin monkey, monitor lizards, birds, and snakes, concealed inside the suspects’ checked luggage. They were reportedly trying to transport the animals to Mumbai.

Thailand’s Role in Wildlife Smuggling

Thailand serves as a significant hub for illegal wildlife trafficking due to its rich biodiversity, strategic location, and well-established infrastructure. Smugglers often utilize Thailand as a transit point to transport animals to markets in China and Vietnam.

Contents of the Smuggled Cargo

Among the confiscated animals were 29 black throat monitor lizards, 21 snakes, and 15 birds, including parrots. 

Notably, a red panda, cotton-top tamarin monkey, and a Sulawesi bear cuscus were among the smuggled creatures, all of which are endangered or vulnerable species.

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Legal Ramifications

If found guilty, the suspects could face severe penalties, including a maximum jail term of 10 years or a substantial fine.

Previous Incidents and Ongoing Trafficking

This incident follows a recent arrest at the same airport involving a Mongolian individual attempting to smuggle Komodo dragons, pythons, and live fish. 

Wildlife trafficking between Southeast Asia and South Asia has remained persistent, particularly with the resumption of air travel post-Covid lockdowns.

NGO Response

Kanitha Krishnasamy, the Southeast Asia director for Traffic, highlighted the active trafficking of live animals between the two regions, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Jean Martin

Jean Martin, a seasoned Correspondent Author at USA Guardian Magazine, specializes in transforming complex subjects into engaging narratives. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to truth, her work spans politics, culture, and technology, enriching the magazine's diverse content. Jean's reporting not only informs but also inspires readers, showcasing her belief in journalism's power to drive change.

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