The live tarantulas shipped from Poland were hidden in individual plastic vials and concealed inside rubber shoes
In 2019, BOC agents also intercepted 757 live tarantulas from Poland concealed in oatmeal and cookie boxes and 87 live spiders
A total of 119 live tarantulas concealed inside rubber shoes were seized in a warehouse in Pasay City by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on October 28.
The parcel, declared as “buty,” or Polish word for shoes, was shipped by a certain Michal Krolicki from Poland to a consignee in General Trias, Cavite, BOC said in a statement.
Upon x-ray scanning, the parcel yielded suspicious images, prompting a physical examination by BOC-NAIA. Customs examiners then uncovered different species of live tarantulas placed in individual plastic vials hidden inside the rubber shoes.
The seized tarantulas, which are classified as endangered wildlife species, were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR-WTMU) on October 29.
In 2019, BOC-NAIA also intercepted 757 live tarantulas concealed inside oatmeal and cookie boxes and 87 live spiders inside white plastic canisters, both sets exported from Poland.
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 pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act).
Unlawful importation is 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 goods unlawfully imported, including duties and taxes, does not exceed P250,000.