Exotic and endangered reptiles smuggled from Malaysia seized at Chennai Airport, two held
36-year-old Mohammad Parvez from Ramnad district and 28-year-old Mohammad Akbar from Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu smuggled the exotic reptiles from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They claimed to be mere couriers.Updated: Oct 10, 2019 23:05 IST
Two Tamil Nadu men were detained for smuggling seven species of young pythons and lizards-- all exotic and some even endangered-- from Malaysia on a tip-off received by the custom officials at the Chennai International Airport on Thursday. The men claimed to be couriers carrying reptiles that have been seized before they are sent back.
36-year-old Mohammad Parvez from Ramnad district and 28-year-old Mohammad Akbar from Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu were apprehended after seen moving suspiciously upon arrival from Kuala Lumpur by Batik Airways flight.
“We found that exotic species of reptiles were packed inside a cloth bags and the bags were tied with rope. They kept the reptiles along with toys and chocolate boxes,” Rajan Chaudhary, Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport said in a statement.
Two Black Tree Monitor lizard, five Emerald Tree Monitor Lizard, two Blue-spotted Tree Monitor lizard, one Reisinger Tree Monitor, and four Sailfin Lizard, all endangered species from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines were found along with one Green Tree Python and one Scrub Python--natives of Australia. The reptiles were found to be in good health.
The duo claimed they were merely acting as couriers for unknown people and were supposed to hand over the bags to a person, who they were told, will be waiting outside the Chennai airport.
“They were taken outside the airport, but no one turned up to receive the bags even after waiting for a considerable time. Therefore we have detained them for further inquiry,” Chaudhary said.
The animal quarantine officials recommended deportation of the wildlife species back to the country of origin as the passenger did not have valid license for import,” the Chennai airport customs commissioner added.
First Published: Oct 10, 2019 23:05 IST