Reptiles Smuggled In Suitcases at Bangkok Airport

Suitcases Stuffed with Rare Reptiles found at Bangkok Airport

Associated Press

431 turtles and other rare reptiles, including crocodiles and tortoises, were reportedly found stuffed into four suitcases and smuggled into the Bangkok airport.

The animals were discovered Wednesday when an Indian traveler arriving from Bangladesh didn't pick up his bags.

Among the animals inside were endangered species: Gharials, a type of Indian crocodile, and Indian star and roofed tortoises.

Many of the reptiles found are banned from international trade, Customs Department Director-General Prasong Poontaneat told the Associated Press. He added they would be held for evidence and cared for by wildlife officials.

Thailand is a major center for illegal international wildlife trade. Just last month a smuggler was busted in Bangkok with baby leopards, panthers, monkeys and a bear. Other incidents there have included a man found with a veritable zoo in his bags in February, plus a baby tiger cub disguised with stuffed animals.

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