Reticulated Python Seized by Customs in NAIA

Live python found in NAIA

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted a live reticulated python from a German courier DHL warehouse at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Photo credit to the owner

According to the BOC, the parcel was misdeclared as “wood curtains, lanterns, rattan baskets” shipped by a certain named “Janrei Fernandez” from Sampaloc, Manila, to New York, in the US. But during a physical examination by a customs examiner, the snake was found inside a rattan basket.

The seized python was immediately turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for proper care.

The BOC reminded the public that the importation, export, and trade of animals without necessary permit is punishable under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act in relation to Republic Act 10863 or Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. Anyone violating this could face up to one year and one day in prison for up to two years and a fine of P2,000 to P200,000.

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Meanwhile, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service commended the BOC for intercepting the python and expressed appreciation for its efforts to combat wildlife smuggling.

“In the US, the python is listed as Injurious on the Lacey Act and importation is strictly regulated. Another current issue is the potential risk of spreading zoonotic diseases which we are all suffering due to Covid-19,” Alfred Colby, Senior Special Agent and Regional Attaché for Southeast Asia, said in the letter addressed to BOC.

The DENR and international organizations, including Traffic South East Asia, the leading organization against wildlife trade, also praised the intercept of animal smuggling.

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