109 live animals – including 35 turtles and 20 snakes – found in women’s luggage | World News

Two women have been arrested after trying to smuggle 109 live animals out of Thailand in their luggage.

Officers discovered 35 turtles, 50 chameleons, 20 snakes, two white porcupines and two squirrels in their pockets.

Thirty-five turtles were among them.  The two women face ten years in prison after being charged under wildlife conservation act as well as customary and public health law Source: THAILAND DEPARTMENT OF NATIONS, WILDLIFE AND REAL CONSERVATION OBJECT

The couple were trying to board a Thai Airways flight to India, and suspicions arose after what was seen as a routine X-ray examination.

Both were arrested and charged with violating Thailand’s Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act, Customs Act and Animal Disease Act.

An armadillo is dehydrated but still alive after being rescued from one of the suitcases by the Thai National Plant Conservation Department

The incident happened at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on Monday.

According to Traffic, an NGO that monitors the wildlife trade, such incidents are a “serious and growing problem”.

Two women have been arrested in Thailand for allegedly trying to smuggle at least 109 live animals into their luggage - including porcupines, striders, turtles, chameleons and snakes - as they tried to board the flight. fly to India.  Incident at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok Source: THAILAND DEPARTMENT OF COUNTRIES, WILDLIFE AND PLANT CONSERVATION

“It includes the fourth largest illicit trade worldwide after weapons, drugs and human trafficking, and is often associated with other serious forms of crime such as fraud, money laundering and corruption.” a March 2022 report warns.

Common motives for wildlife smuggling include their use for food, traditional medicine, artefacts, fashion, and exotic pets.

An armadillo after being rescued from one of the suitcases Source: THAILAND DEPARTMENT OF COUNTRIES, WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

Between 2011 and 2020, Traffic’s research claims more than 70,000 wild animals – including body parts or their derivatives – were discovered at Indian airports.

And Chennai International Airport, where the arrested couple were traveling, had the highest number of wildlife seizures in the country.

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