Customs and DRI officials have deployed special squads at all four airports and extra vigil is in place after the seizure of the exotic animals at the Chennai airport.
Green Cornsnakes, Mexican black kingsnakes, green anacondas and chameleons were also seized from the woman’s checked-in bag and separate suitcases.
Customs officials intercepted the woman after specific inputs on her arrival that she was carrying the exotic animals with her.
After a long time, pet traders sent contraband from Malaysia rather than from Thailand which was earlier the hot spot for smuggling of exotic animals.
Sources in the airport told IANS that the snakes are being smuggled as they don’t need food and even ventilation for survival and there are tips that more such smuggling of exotic species would take place through Tamil Nadu airports.
Customs officials said that airports in Tamil Nadu are targeted by smugglers as passengers from far eastern countries like Malaysia and Thailand to India are mostly from Tamil Nadu. The smugglers, according to the customs officials have tried a different airport to mislead the officials at Chennai.
According to officials, five seizures of exotic species have been made since January 1, 2023, from Chennai airport.