Bureau of Customs (BoC) agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have seized a shipment of 23 smuggled tarantulas at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.
The parcel came from Hanoi, Vietnam and consigned to a claimant in Makati City, was declared as “Snacks and other Foodstuffs.” When examined, 23 tarantulas were discovered concealed in plastic containers.
The arachnids were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for monitoring and safekeeping.
The importer will be charged with violation of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan said the Bureau of Customs supports the initiatives of the government in upholding the conservation and protection of wildlife, thus prohibiting wildlife smuggling.
“Together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Port upholds wildlife protection and its conservation initiatives,” she said.
Two months ago, the Customs bureau and the DENR won legal cases against the owners of smuggled wildlife species from Poland and Malaysia.
The Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court convicted on Sept. 22 and Oct. 4 the two claimants of smuggled shipments containing tarantulas, sulcate tortoise, black pond turtle, bearded dragon, corn snake, and savannah lizards.
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia has recognized the Port for its efforts against wildlife trafficking.