Sunday, 16 September 2012

890 rare Star toroises seized at Bangkok airport

Tortoises openly on sale in Bangkok market
September 2012. A suitcase filled with 890 Indian Star Tortoises has been seized, and an Indian national arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport. Acting on a tip off, Tourist Police and Royal Thai Customs officers stopped the 26-year-old man who attempted to smuggle the tortoises into the country on a Thai Airways flight from Calcutta to Bangkok, on Monday 27th August.

The tortoises, all juveniles, were found stuffed into six pillow cases and hidden inside the suspect's suitcase.
Demand as a pet
The Indian Star Tortoise is highly prized as an exotic pet and remains a target for collection and trade despite being afforded legal protection across the species range countries of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. All three countries have banned the species's international commercial export under national legislation, making all shipments from these countries illegal anywhere in the world.

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