Customs officials at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport saved more than 600 wild animals smuggled into Thailand on a flight from Egypt.
Customs and wildlife authorities discovered 601 exotic wildlife in boxes at the Thai Airways International Cargo Terminal on Thursday, Yossathon Kongern, chief of the wildlife checkpoint in Suvarnabhumi, said.
The wild animals were transported to Thailand on Egypt Air MS507 from Cairo.
Among the animals and reptiles seized were 35 Saharan and Arabian horned vipers. Other animals included lizards, snakes, skinks, and scorpions.
Wildlife smugglers violated Thailand’s Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act by bringing in protected wild animals without permission and the Customs Act by bringing in goods that had not cleared through customs.
In addition, they face being charged with violating the Animal Disease Control Act because they imported the animals without permission.
Mr. Yossathon said he had filed a report with police at Suvarnabhumi Airport police station against the wildlife smugglers. Suvarnabhumi Airport Customs official did not name the sender and receiver of the cargo.
For further categorization and conservation of the animals, they were all turned over to the Wildlife Health Management Department and the Forest and Plant Conservation Research Office.
According to WWF, wildlife and wildlife products trafficked from other countries in Asia and Africa pass through Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos frequently.
Thus, the aim of the WWF is to reduce wildlife trafficking within the Golden Triangle at specific locations. The project focuses on enhancing collaboration between relevant agencies at the provincial level, strengthening law enforcement, and improving the ability to prosecute, investigate and prevent illegal wildlife trafficking in Thailand.
Report Wildlife Crime: If you witness any wildlife crime you would like to report urgently, call the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation hotline 1362.
Support the WWF: Become our Facebook fan and receive daily updates on our conservation efforts at facebook.com/wwfthailand. Follow them on Instagram @wwf_thai.