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BOC confiscates tarantulas, scorpions smuggled from Thailand

  • The Bureau of Customs seized a package containing 20 endangered tarantulas and eight scorpions smuggled through the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City from Thailand on Jan 6
  • The misdeclared package contained 28 plastic containers individually holding tarantulas or scorpions and imported without the necessary permits
  • Illegal importation, collection and trade of endangered wildlife is punishable by imprisonment of six years and a fine of P200,000 under the Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act

A package containing a total of 20 endangered tarantulas and eight scorpions which was smuggled through the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City from Thailand on January 6 was seized by the Bureau of Customs Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC NAIA).

When opened, the package from Samut Parakain, Thailand, revealed 28 plastic containers individually housing the tarantulas and scorpions, BOC said in a statement. The package was declared to contain “teaching equipment” and was imported without the necessary import permits.

The tarantulas and scorpions were immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit for rehabilitation and care.

BOC noted that illegal importation, collection and trade of endangered wildlife is punishable by imprisonment of six years and a fine of P200,000 under Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act.

Moreover, under Section 1401 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, unlawful importation of goods with appraised value of more than P250,000, including duties and taxes, is penalized by imprisonment of 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.

BOC NAIA last October also intercepted 119 tarantulas illegally imported from Poland and concealed in a pair of rubber shoes.

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