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Japanese mother with baby nabbed at airport for wildlife smuggling 

Nov 23. 2016
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By The Nation

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A JAPANESE mother travelling with her six-month-old infant was arrested on Tuesday night at Suvarnabhumi International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle turtles and other reptiles in her luggage to Japan, police said Wednesday.

Maki Takahashi, 44, was arrested with 16 snail-eating turtles, seven Siamese box terrapins, four alligator snapping turtles, two spiny terrapins, three Indian roofed turtles, eight monitor lizards and 15 crocodile skinks. 

The woman and her baby boy intended to travel to Japan on an 11.35pm flight when an X-ray machine detected live items in her luggage and officials took her to secondary inspection. She admitted the luggage was hers but could not provide proper documents allowing the export of the animals, which are protected by the 1992 Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act.

Officials arrested the woman and seized the animals. 

The woman claimed an Asian man had hired her for 100,000 yen (Bt30,000) to take the luggage to Japan but she had not known what was inside. 

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