Sunday, October 09, 2022

2 Indian nationals detained in Mumbai for smuggling wildlife from Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Two Indian nationals were arrested near the Mumbai Airport for smuggling endangered animals from Malaysia.

Authorities recovered 665 endangered animals estimated to be worth RM1.7 million.

They were believed to have smuggled animals into India via air cargo by concealing them in boxes of other declared items like aquarium fish.

Unfortunately, 117 of the smuggled animals were found to have died during transit.

The Hindustan Times, a local English daily, reported that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) department got a tip-off about the smuggling before they intercepted the vehicle carrying the consignment at Vila Pales.

"The two arrested were identified as Dharavi resident Immanvel Raja, 36, and Mazgaon resident Victor Lobo, 36," it said.

DRI officers conducted inspections on the vehicle and found 665 wildlife, such as turtles, pythons, lizards, tortoises and iguanas packed in 46 boxes.

The consignment, which had been declared as aquarium ornaments, comprised 30 boxes containing fish and aquarium decorations, while another 16 were filled with the endangered animals.

It said the DRI took back the vehicle to the Air Cargo Complex and examined it along with officials from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and found 665 different exotic animals, but 117 were dead.

09/10/22 Kalbana Perimbanayagam/New Straits Times

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