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Endangered tortoises found in untagged airport suitcases

Dec 01. 2017
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By Suthinan Khongsin
The Nation

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Thai authorities seized 330 live Indian Star tortoises hidden in three suitcases at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport early on Thursday morning but they had no luggage tags linked to any flight, Customs Department officials said.

Customs officials found three suspect suitcases piled on a trolley near the sixth baggage conveyor belt at the airport’s arrival hall at around 1.30am. 

An X-ray of the unusually heavy suitcases found they contained the endangered tortoises, estimated to be worth at least Bt1 million in illegal trade. 

The animals and related evidence were passed on to police at the Suvarnabhumi Airport precinct to hunt for the smugglers. 

Police then transferred the tortoises to the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department’s care.

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