MANILA—Some 100 live tarantulas and preserved animals were intercepted by airport customs officials at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City Thursday.
Airport customs district collector Carmelita Talusan said 2 shipments contained 100 live venomous tarantulas.
The tarantulas, from Poland and Malaysia, were put inside transparent plastic containers. The animals were supposed to be delivered to Santo Tomas town, Batangas, and Naga City in Cebu, and were declared mail and toys.
Seventy-one pieces of stingray skin were also found inside a package from Jakarta and were supposed to be sent to a resident of Talisay City, Cebu.
Camel hide, stuffed moose head and a preserved fox were found inside packages from the United Arab Emirates, Norway and France. The packages were consigned to residents of Cavite and Quezon City.
Authorities said the packages pose health risks to the public since they have no quarantine certificates and import permits, which are violations of Republic Act 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act), Section 117 (Regulated Importation and Exportation).
Violators of illegal wildlife trading laws face imprisonment and fines.
Airport customs officials have been active in stopping the entry and exit of contraband items.
Customs intercepted more than 1,500 duct-taped exotic turtles and tortoises from Hong Kong in March, and 757 live venomous tarantulas from Poland in April.
Since 2018, a total of 3,014 wildlife and endangered species have been seized and turned over to authorities.
The confiscated packages were turned over to the Wildlife Trafficking Management Unit, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Bureau of Animal Industry. —With a report from Raoul Esperas