Dozens of smuggled small wildlife species–stuffed inside toy boxes–have been discovered by Bureau of Customs-Port of NAIA (BOC-NAIA) inspectors, the Manila Bulletin learned on Saturday, May 29.
The parcel reportedly came from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was declared to contain “Lego toys”.
But upon closer inspection, the package turned out to contain 20 sulcata tortoises, 10 razorback turtles, one red bearded dragon, two corn snakes, and eight savanna lizards.
The representative of the consignee who later claimed the package at FedEx warehouse in Pasay City was arrested by agents of BOC-NAIA and the Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (WTMU) of the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR). Both were not identified.
Those involved are facing charges of illegal importation of wildlife species under Section 1113 in relation to Sections 117 and 1401 of Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and Section 27 of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.