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Women with 109 animals, including 50 chameleons, trapped in plane luggage

Composite image showing some of the animals found and a scan of the luggage

The animals were valued at around £4,700 (Image: Viral Press)

Two women were caught trying to board a plane with hundreds of live animals in their suitcases, including 50 chameleons and 35 turtles.

Nithya Raja, 38, and Zakia Sulthana, 24, were arrested when an X-ray scan of their luggage revealed more than 100 creatures stuck in their bags.”

If the animals had been resold, they would have been worth an estimated THB200,000 (about £4,700), authorities said.

The suspected wildlife smugglers, both from India, were reportedly on their way to Chennai.

They were flying out of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on June 27 when they were arrested.

Sathon Konggoen, head of the wildlife inspection office at the airport, said: “This type of case has happened many times because animals in India have expensive price tags.

“Pet trafficking is usually spotted at Thailand-Myanmar borders and domestic airports to some extent.”

One of the armadillos found in the luggage

One of the armadillos found in the luggage (Image: ViralPress)

One of the porcupines found

There were also porcupines (Image: ViralPress)

Authorities check their bags after an X-ray check

Authorities checked their bags after an X-ray (Image: Viral Press)

The scan revealed unusual items in the luggage

The scan revealed unusual items in the luggage (Image: Viral Press)

Officials rescued 50 chameleons, 35 turtles, 20 snakes, two porcupines and two armadillos packed in two bags.

Two iguanas were found dead while the other reptiles showed symptoms of dehydration, authorities said.

The animals are now treated and transferred to wildlife centers or breeding facilities.

Meanwhile, the women have been charged with violating the Animal Diseases Act 2015, the Customs Act 2017 and the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act 2019.

They were taken into police custody while awaiting official prosecution.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/02/women-caught-with-109-animals-including-50-chameleons-in-their-plane-luggage-16929926/ Women with 109 animals, including 50 chameleons, trapped in plane luggage

Justin Scacco

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