11 February 2011

Indonesian man attempts to smuggle over 200 animals in suitcases

An Indonesian man was recently arrested at an airport in Bangkok, Thailand for attempting to smuggle extremely rare tortoises and over 200 other animals in three different suitcases on board a plane.

The suspect purchased the animals at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok—a shop known for its illegal sales of wildlife.

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, was outraged at the attempt. Regional Director William Schaedla stated, “It speaks well of a few alert enforcement authorities when such seizures happen. The Airport Authority is to be commended. However, one really has to question how Chatuchak Market, which is located just down the street from both Wildlife Protection and Nature Crime Police Offices, can continue these illegal mass sales.”

Schaedla continued, “Frankly, the situation is totally unacceptable in a country that claims to be effectively addressing illegal wildlife trade.”

According to TRAFFIC, the man tried to smuggle the following animals:

  • Ploughshare tortoise 1
  • Ceratophrys ornate (Argentine horned frog) 6
  • Radiated tortoise 7
  • Indian Star Tortoise 88
  • Common squirrel 22
  • Mata Mata Turtle 6
  • Bearded Dragon 19
  • Aldabra Tortoise 3
  • Theraphosidae (baboon spider) 18
  • Pig-nosed Turtle 1
  • Elongated Tortoise 33
  • African Grey Parrot 1
  • Ball Python 34
  • Boa Constrictor 2
  • Milk Snake 1
  • Corn Snake 2
  • King Snake 2
  • Lampropeltis zonata (kingsnake) 1
  • Lampropeltis calligasta (kingsnake) 1
  • Hog nosed snake 1
  • Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx ) 4
  • Sudan Plated Lizard 2
  • Chitra 4

The 34-year old man is currently being held in custody and awaiting smuggling charges.

Julia is a student who has a passion for veganism, animal welfare, and religious studies.

Photo credit: TRAFFIC