MANILA — The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of NAIA has on Wednesday (30 June 2021) seized an unclaimed and overstaying parcel containing misdeclared 44 wildlife species.
Seized at the Philpost Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) were 25 tarantulas, 12 spiderlings, 5 centipedes, and 2 ornithoctonus black spiders.
Arthropods are invertebrate animals such as spiders, centipedes, and insects. In an uncontrolled environment, these species may have direct and indirect effects on human health, especially the fact that these arthropods bite when threatened by external factors like presence of predators or humans.
Other species also administer venom through a bite, producing extreme pain to the unfortunate recipient, and can be fatal to humans.
The parcel from Thailand was consigned to a certain Aldwin Capucae in Pasay City, Metro Manila and was declared to contain “Plastic Teaching Materials for University”.
The failure of the claimant to process within the reglementary period led to the abandonment of the parcel, resulting in the discovery of the 44 arthropods.
The seized species were estimated to have a market value of at least half a million and were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) has been recommended by the examiner against the parcel, and further investigation is underway against the claimant for the possible filing of charges in violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9147 known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and RA 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 and 1400, and all other related rules and regulations.
Recently, the Port of NAIA headed by District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan under the leadership of BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, was recognized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the celebration of World Wildlife Day for the contributions of BOC-NAIA in seizing subjects of illegal wildlife trafficking and in its vital and invaluable role in wildlife protection.
The BOC Port of NAIA will remain steadfast in its anti-smuggling and border protection efforts to protect the public from hazards brought about by regulated and restricted shipments and parcels without the necessary clearance from respective government agencies, and other prohibited items. (Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)