Customs agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport intercepted a shipment of live tarantulas smuggled from Poland.
The authorities found the 119 tarantulas concealed inside rubber shoes following physical examinations at DHL warehouse on Thursday.
The parcel was declared as “buty,” the Polish word for shoes, which was shipped by a certain “Michal Krolicki” to a consignee in General Trias, Cavite.
The shipment was turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit for proper handling.
Customs NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan said tarantulas were classified as endangered wildlife species. She says illegal wildlife trading is penalized with imprisonment of six months and one day to one year and a fine of P10,000 to P200,000 under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
Talusan also says such unlawful importation was “penalized with not less than 30 days and one day but not more than six months or a fine of not less than P25,000 but not more than P75,000 or both, if the appraised value of the goods unlawfully imported, including duties and taxes, does not exceed P250,000 under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act).
In 2019 Customs NAIA also intercepted 757 live tarantulas concealed inside oatmeal and cookie boxes, and 87 live spiders inside white plastic canisters. All of them also came from Poland.
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