MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of NAIA on Monday reported the seizure of a package containing 28 endangered species of insects in Pasay City.
In a statement, District Collector Carmelita Talusan said the species are composed of 20 tarantula spiders and eight scorpions illegally smuggled through Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) on Jan. 6, 2021.
Records show that the package came from Samut Parakain, Thailand and was misdeclared as “teaching equipment” with no necessary import permits.
The 28 plastic containers individually housing the tarantulas and scorpions were found upon opening of the package.
Both tarantulas and scorpions were immediately transferred and turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) for rehabilitation and care.
Illegal importation, collection and trade of endangered wildlife are punishable by imprisonment of six years and a fine of PHP200,000 under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act.
On the other hand, under Section 1401 of the CMTA, unlawful importation of goods with appraised value of more than PHP250,000 including duties and taxes, is penalized by imprisonment of not less than 30 days and one day but not than six months, or fine of not less than HP25,000 but not more than PHP75,000.
Talusan said that in compliance with the directive of BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on intensified border protection, they continue to man the air cargo terminals and warehouses 24/7 to check on illicit goods and those which require necessary permits.
She added that the Port is one with the DENR in upholding the conservation and protection of wildlife and deterring wildlife smuggling.
Last October, the BOC NAIA intercepted 119 tarantulas from Poland concealed in a pair of rubber shoes. (PNA)