MANILA — As part of the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s mandate to secure the country’s border against the import and export of prohibited, regulated, and restricted goods, the Port of NAIA intercepted 198 various species of Tarantulas of different sizes, without the required permits, misdeclared as “Thermos Mug” at BOC-DHL Express Warehouse recently.
The outbound shipment was about to be sent by a sender from Pasay City to a recipient in Italy.
The package was subjected to an X-ray and 100% physical examination which led to the discovery of the live animals. The package was examined by the Customs Examiner from the NAIA Export Division, with the presence of representatives from X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force (CAIDTF), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), DHL Express, and Environmental Protection and Compliance Division (EPCD).
The seized Tarantulas shall be the subject of corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Sections 117 and 1113 of the Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The seized tarantulas were immediately turned over to the Wildlife Enforcement Officer from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for proper handling and monitoring pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.
Over the years, the Port of NAIA received several commendations from the Southeast Asia TRAFFIC for its tremendous efforts in intercepting illegal wildlife trade.
“Our heartfelt congratulations to BOC-NAIA’s successful wildlife seizures, which prevented the trafficking of endemic and exotic species” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Director of Southeast Asia TRAFFIC said in the organization’s most recent letter to the Port of NAIA.
TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
The BOC under the leadership of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the Port of NAIA headed by Collector Carmelita M. Talusan, with the DENR, continue to have a strong collaboration against the wildlife smuggling and together, remain vigilant in protecting the borders to ensure that both import and export transactions of animals, especially those critical and endangered species, are monitored.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/ai/mtvn)