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200 endangered Madagascar tortoises seized at Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Duty Free at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Duty Free at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Photo: Jithesh.

BANGKOK, Oct 11 – Thai customs officials on Sunday seized 218 radiated tortoises smuggled into Thailand by a Malagasy man to sell to a trader at Bangkok’s biggest weekend market, at Chatuchak Park.

Four radiated tortoises were dead while 214 others are still alive. Worth an estimated Bt1.2 million altogether (about US$40,000), the Madagascar tortoises were hidden in two pieces of luggage on a Kenya Airways plane from Nairobi.

Sunun Arunnopparat, Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and Prasong Puntanet, Director-General of the Customs Department told a news conference on Monday that Basoiry Djamaldine, a Malagasy national, was taken into custody at Suvarnabhumi Airport by Thai customs officials after being tipped-off by a worldwide wildlife watch organisation.


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