More than 100 animals were found in the luggage after an X-ray examination at the Thai airport

More than 100 animals were found in the luggage after an X-ray examination at the Thai airport
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Thai officials have been arrested at Bangkok airport after more than 100 animals were found in the luggage of two Indian women amid mounting wildlife trade as travel restrictions on the pandemic have been eased worldwide.

According to Thailand’s National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Protection Department, officials found suspicious items in the women’s luggage during an X-ray examination at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Authorities searched and found 50 lizards, 35 turtles and two hedgehogs among other animals. At least two of the animals died and many were left without water.

There were also among the animals yellow-spotted tea turtlePeter’s striped skin, native to the Amazon and on the internationally listed species list Sold as a pet in the United States.

Thai officials have not released the identities of the two women. They are accused of violating Thai customs and public health laws Law on the Protection and Conservation of Wildlife. The latter charge could result in up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of about $ 28,500, or both.

The Thai Department of Parks and the Indian Embassy in Bangkok did not respond to requests for comment.

Authorities say the women tried to fly to the southern Indian city of Chennai. Between 2011 and 2020, more than 70,000 animals were seized at Indian airports. traffic, non-governmental organization. Thirty-six percent of these arrests were made at Chennai Airport.

Wild animal trafficking is an illegal trade cost up to $ 150 billion a year According to the UK Wildlife Conservation Group. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a sharp decline in animal trafficking worldwide, but activity is rising again as restrictions are eased. According to the Environmental Research Agency.

The new “green status of the species” will measure the recovery of endangered plants and animals

The Southeast Asian country has made efforts to combat trade in 2019, including tightening penalties for wildlife traffickers. The maximum fine for violating the laws of wildlife trade has increased 25 times, and the maximum term of imprisonment has increased 25 times. Increased 2½ times up to 10 years.

Thai authorities at least seized 636 animals at Suvarnabhumi airport last month. In April, 34 turtlesincluding the endangered Burmese star tortoise was found in postal packages destined for the Philippines.

In May 2021, the Thai government launched a campaign against wildlife trafficking in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. may have roots primarily in a pathogen transmitted by a wild animal, The Associated Press reported. The motto of the campaign is: “Stop diseases and extinctions: Never eat, buy, hunt or sell wildlife.”

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