Depending on where you stand, yesterday was either a watershed moment for Thai customs or a disaster for the international exotic pets trade.
The Bangkok Post is reporting that on Wednesday, upwards of 340 turtles and 65 snakes, geckos and other reptiles were seized at Suvarnabhumi Airport as smugglers tried to sneak them out of Thailand.
The turtles were loaded into 50 boxes, which hailed from Chon Buri province and were bound for Hong Kong via the PYS International Agency Limited export company. Representatives from the company claimed that the boxes contained vegetables.
In a separate incident, a Kuwaiti man attempted to smuggle 65 geckos, chameleons and snakes out of Thailand in his luggage. Customs officials apprehended him as he tried to board a flight bound for Doha.
Coincidentally (or maybe not?), yesterday also marked the beginning of Suvarnabhumi Airport’s iTHINK campaign, aimed at raising public awareness about wildlife protection. So far so good in that department.