A wildlife trafficker caught with a dead baby roo in his luggage with 233 other exotic animals has been seized by police in India.
Heartbreaking evidence footage shot by customs officers shows the young joey’s body in cramped container with some leaves and a towel.
Officials at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, believe the defenceless youngster suffocated on the four-hour flight from the Thai capital, Bangkok.
The suspect – not named by police – was stopped on 22nd August as he headed for the nothing-to-declare exit when customs officers saw his bulky trolley bag.
Amazed officials found hundreds of living wildlife specimens along with the dead baby kangaroo when they opened it.
Evidence photos show a box of jagged shell turtles, part of a group of turtles listed as endangered.
They also have pictures of a baby alligator, seven pythons, and boxes of what appear to be chameleons and iguanas.
In all – report local media – customs inspectors found 234 animals in his luggage.
The passenger – a 32-year-old from India’s Tamil Nadu state – was arrested by police and the smuggled reptiles were rescued.
The suspect is now under investigation for wildlife smuggling.
Bengaluru Customs said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on 21st August: “On the basis of profiling of passengers arriving from Bangkok by Flight No. FD – 137 at 10:30 PM, Bengaluru Air Customs booked a case of smuggling of wild animals.
“One passenger was intercepted while he was crossing the Green Channel and was approaching towards exit gate of International arrival area.
“The passenger was found to be carrying wild animals concealed in his trolley bag.
“Further, one unclaimed bag from the same flight was found to be having wild animals.
“A total of 234 wild animals including python, chameleon, Iguana, turtles, alligators and one baby kangaroo were found concealed in the said two trolley bags.
“Some of the said animals are listed in the appendices of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“The passenger has been placed under arrest in terms of Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962 and the rescued wild animals have been seized under Section 110 of Customs Act, 1962.
“Further Investigation is under progress.”
The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal trade behind drugs, people smuggling and counterfeiting, worth an estimated GBP 15 billion annually, according to WWF-UK.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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