Women attempted to smuggle 109 live animals through Bangkok airport, officials say

Two Indian women have been arrested at a Bangkok airport for attempting to smuggle live animals through security. ( Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation)

Two Indian women have been arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok for trying to smuggle more than 100 live animals through security, Thai wildlife officials said. said in a press release.

The animals included two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 chameleons and 20 snakes.

Officials said they were tipped off when an X-ray machine at the airport’s wildlife checkpoint spotted two suspicious bags. It was then that the authorities inspected the women’s luggage.

Authorities said the women were trying to board a flight on Thai Airways to Chennai International Airport in Chennai, India.

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The women were charged with breaching the Animal Epidemics Act 2015, which helps prevent and control epidemics.

Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants confiscated the animals.

According to TRAFFICan advocacy group dedicated to wildlife trade safety, there have been 140 wildlife seizures at 18 Indian airports between 2011 and 2020. Among the best bits are reptiles, followed by mammals.

The organization said Chennai International Airport has the highest number of recorded incidents of wildlife seizures.

According to a 2021 report from the US State Department, India is listed as a country with a major source of wildlife trafficking.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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