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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

Red Panda and 86 other Animals Found in Airport Baggage

Customs officials have arrested six Indians for smuggling at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok


A surprise awaited Thai customs official as they opened the luggage of six passengers boarding a flight to Mumbai. An illegal menagerie including snakes, parrots, monitor lizards, a red panda and more was hidden in the cases. Parrots were discovered in boxes with holes drilled for air, and the red panda was found peeking out of a wicker basket. Lizards were huddled in plastic tubs, while snakes were coiled together in cloth bags. The official count included 29 black throat monitor lizards, 21 snakes and 15 birds.

According to officials, Thailand is a major transit hub for illegal wildlife traffickers, who often sell the animals in China and Vietnam. India, where the smugglers were heading in this case, has also seen a recent increase in trafficking. The suspects are facing a maximum of 10 years in prison, or four times the amount of import duties.


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