119 SMUGGLED TARANTULAS NA ISINILID SA RUBBER SHOES, NASABAT NG CUSTOMS NAIA

Ni Joan Alcantara
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Isang illegal wildlife trade ang napigil ng Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) nang masabat nito ang 119 tarantulas na itinago sa loob ng rubber shoes sa DHL warehouse noong Oktubre 28.

Iba’t ibang species ng mga buhay na tarantula na inilagay sa plastic vials ang natagpuan sa loob ng rubber shoes na ipinadala ng isang “Michal Krolicki” ng Poland papunta sa isang consignee sa General Trias, Cavite.

Nasa pangangalaga naman na ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit ang tarantulas. Ang tarantulas ay endangered wildlife species na ang illegal trading ay may kulong na 6 buwan 1 araw hanggang 1 taon at fine na PhP10,000-PhP200,000 alinsunod sa RA 9147 o Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Ang unlawful importation naman ng mga ito ay may kulong ng hindi bababa sa 31 araw at hihigit sa 6 buwan, o fine na hindi bababa sa PhP25,000 at tataas sa PhP75,000 kung ang halaga ng imported goods ay hindi hihigit sa PhP250,000 sa ilalim ng Sec. 1401 ng RA 10863 o Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Kabilang sa mga matagumpay na naharang ng BOC-NAIA noong 2019 ang 757 tarantulas na itinago sa oatmeal at cookie boxes at 87 gagamba na nasa loob ng plastic canisters. Parehong nanggaling ang dalawang kargamento sa Poland.

Kamakailan lang ay may nasabat ding python ang Customs NAIA na pinapurihan ng US Fish and Wildlife Service. Umani na rin ng pagkilala mula DENR ang nasabing ahensya, pati sa Traffic Southeast Asia na isang international non-government organization na nangunguna sa wildlife trade.

Muling siniguro ni District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan ang tuluy-tuloy na proteksyon ng Customs-NAIA sa premiere airport ng bansa laban sa illegal import/export ng mga kontrabando gaya ng endangered wildlife species, maging droga at iba pang banta sa seguridad at kalusugan ng publiko bilang pagsunod sa intensified border protection ni BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero.

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