On November 17th, 2023, Mr. Phanthong Loykulnanta, the Customs Department Spokesperson, Thai customs officers of Suvarnabhumi Airport, and relevant officials arrested two alleged wildlife smugglers and confiscated more than 124 wild, unregistered animals.
According to the report from airport officers, an unidentified Korean, 24, was arrested with wild animals in their possession such as tarantulas and iguanas with a total of 44 units stashed inside luggage loaded in the aircraft’s cargo. The alleged Korean was heading to Seoul, Korea, before being searched for illegal objects.
According to the report from airport officers, another unidentified Israeli, 52, was also arrested with wild animals in their possession such as turtles, snakes, komodo dragons, and other wild animals with a total of 80 units stashed inside luggage loaded in the aircraft’s cargo. The alleged Israeli was heading to Tel Aviv, Israel, before being searched for illegal objects.
Phanthong publicly stated that the two alleged wild animal smugglers committed crimes by attempting to illegally export objects without going through customs proceedings and smuggling controlled animals in accordance with the Convention on International Trade.
However, strict security measures were issued per order by Mr. Srettha Thavisin, the Thai Prime Minister, to the Thai Customs Department. It was to prevent and suppress crimes related to illegal importation and exportation of goods that are subject to taxation such as illegal goods and prohibited goods.