Two Japanese nationals were arrested in India’s Cochin International Airport as they were trying to smuggle out live snakes, insects and other exotic species. How did they get caught? They had packed scissors in their hand bag that triggered the check.
They are in the custody of the Forest Department.
“Suta Shibasaki (24) and Murayi Yojka (21) (To see their photos, click here) were trying to fly back to Japan through Sri Lanka when security officials at the airport found a variety of live reptiles and insects in their bags during the X-ray scanning. Shibasaki said he was a wildlife researcher in Japan but was not aware of the wildlife protection laws of India.
“About 20 creatures including snakes, spiders, lizards, chameleon, tortoises and earthworms were found trapped in glass jars in their bags. Shibasaki came to Kochi with Yojka two weeks ago to hunt for exotic species. They rented a room at Athirappilly and trekked inside the forest to catch snakes and other crawlers.
“The duo had put in a pair of scissors and an adhesive tape along with the jars in the bag. The scissors and a battery alerted the security officials of the traveller’s bags. They opened the bags for a closer look and found the reptiles enclosed in glass jars.
“The officials also seized video footage of them netting the reptiles inside the Athirappilly forest. The footage was supposed to be telecast on Japanese television channels. Both of them also work in a supermarket in Japan.”