Bangkok, Thailand, 4th December 2012—Authorities in Thailand have rescued 343 tortoises and freshwater turtles believed to be destined for markets in Hong Kong and arrested two men who were delivering the consignment for shipping. In a separate incident, snakes, scorpions and even centipedes were found in the luggage of a passenger due to fly to Doha.
Acting on information, officers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), Royal Thai Customs and the Fisheries Department seized 343 turtles and tortoises packed into bags and stuffed into polystyrene boxes for transport early this morning.
The haul found at the Cargo Complex of Suvarnabhumi International Airport included the Endangered Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys and the Giant Asian Pond Turtle Heosemys grandis, which is listed as Vulnerable. These turtles and tortoises are traded throughout the region, largely for use as food and medicine. International trade in both is restricted through their listing in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).,,,