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Baby leopards, bear found in bags at Thai airport


QuotaMan
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110513/ap_on_re_as/as_thailand_leopards_in_luggage

 

BANGKOK – Authorities at Bangkok's international airport arrested a first-class passenger Friday whose suitcases were filled with baby leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys. The animals had been drugged and were headed for Dubai.

 

The man, a 36-year-old United Arab Emirates citizen, was waiting to check in for his flight at Suvarnabhumi International Airport when he was apprehended by undercover anti-trafficking officers, who had been monitoring him since his black market purchase of the rare and endangered animals, according to the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand.

 

When authorities opened the suitcases, the animals yawned, said Steven Galster, director of FREELAND, who was present during the bust. There were two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys — all about the size of puppies.

 

"It looked like they had sedated the animals and had them in flat cages so they couldn't move around much," Galster said. Some of the animals were placed inside canisters with air holes.

 

Authorities believe the man was part of a trafficking network and were searching for suspected accomplices.

 

"It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before," Galster said. "The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."

 

Thailand is a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking, but authorities typically find rare turtles, tortoises, snakes and lizards that feed demand in China and Vietnam. Finding such an array of live mammals is unusual.

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how the hell did the guy expect to get them through customs.

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how the hell did the guy expect to get them through customs.

 

For every muppet caught their are probably 10 that get away with it. I bet they dont even look at the xray screen for more than 2 hours of a 12 hour shift, have you ever watched the thai security in a condo complex 11 hours of their 12 hour shift is spent sleeping.

Also they did say he had been watched buying the animals so who knows maybe he already paid the baggage handlers their tea money and would of got away if he had not been tailed.

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