Japanese woman nabbed with over 50 protected animals in her luggage at airport


A Japanese woman was arrested at Suvarnabhumi international airport on Tuesday night after airport officials found more than 50 protected animals of different species in her luggage.


Officials manning an X-ray machine saw the images of what look like animals inside a luggage bearing the name of Ms Maki Takahashi, a passenger of Thai Airways International’s flight TG640 bound for Tokyo.

The officials then alerted THAI staff to bring Ms Takahashi to see them so they could ask for the permission to open the luggage. When they opened it, they found 32 small turtles of various species, eight little monitor lizards and 15 alligator lizards.

When the officials asked for the permits of the animals and the Japanese woman could not produce one, so she was booked on charges of attempting to smuggle protected species out of the country without permits.

Ms Takahashi declined to say what she planned to do with the animals upon arrival in Japan but admitted that she once successfully smuggled similar animals out of Thailand.