Tortoise smugglers busted
- Published: 16/03/2013 at 01:03 PM
- Online news:
A Malagasy woman and a Thai man were arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday night for allegedly smuggling 369 live tortoises worth more than 600,000 baht.
Paisarn Cheunjit, director of the Investigation and Suppression Bureau (ISB) of the Customs Department, said Clara Rahantamalala, 25, and O Visarnkol, 38, were arrested at the customs checkpoint.
Customs officers found 75 live Angonoka turtoises inside Ms Rahantamalala's luggage. They also discovered 294 Indian Star tortoises in an unclaimed suitcase that had been left on a luggage carousel.
Mr Paisarn said Mr O was involved in a case related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) in 2012 and was currently on bail.
Both suspects denied that the suitcases belonged to them. They were then taken into custody at the ISB for further investigation.
Mr Paisarn said the tortoises would be sent to the Bang Phra waterfowl breeding station in Chon Buri province.
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