Two Indian ladies were detained by Thai authorities on Monday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport for reportedly trying to smuggle 109 live animals inside their luggage.
The animals were reportedly found in two luggage during an X-ray examination, according to a press statement from Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation. In the two pieces of baggage, they discovered two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 chameleons and 20 snakes.
Nithya Raja and Zakia Sulthana Ebrahim, two Indian ladies who were scheduled to fly to Chennai, were identified by Thai officials as the owners of the luggage.
As per the Bangkok Post, the women were detained and charged with the violation of the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2019, the Animal Act of 2015 and the Customs Act of 2017.
The authorities withheld information on the suspects’ plans for the animals once they got to their destination and what happened to them when the animals were freed from the crowded luggage.
Two deceased iguanas and dehydrated reptiles were discovered, according to a Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation news statement in Thai. According to reports, they have been given vitamin supplements, adequate care, and have been moved to a wildlife rescue facility.
CNN claims that animal trafficking through airports has been a problem in the area for a while. 2019 saw the detention at the airport of a guy travelling from Bangkok to Chennai when customs officials discovered a month-old leopard cub in his luggage.
More recently, two attempts to transport wild animals from Thailand in two days were foiled by customs officials at Chennai International Airport last month. The albino porcupine and the white-lipped red-chested tamarin (monkey) were found in the luggage of a traveller who had come from Bangkok, according to PTI.