What On Earth Were They Thinking


You’ve heard of the iconic Samuel L. Jackson film Snakes on a Plane, a picture so ridiculous in plot it’s almost absurd, yet two women were clearly influenced by it as they attempted to smuggle the reptiles (and several other animals) onto a commercial flight. 

The women, one 38 and the other 24, were detained after a routine X-ray of their bags revealed their unusual cargo. More than 100 animals were found stuffed in their bags in a suspected case of animal smuggling. Had the two women bypassed security, they could’ve made almost £5,000 from the haul. 


Caught With Over 100 Animals

The pair were due to fly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok to Chennai on june 27. The two women hoped that they could join the lucrative animal trafficking market and make a petty penny from their animals. 

However, when caught, guards discovered that several animals were dead and dozens of others were suffering from severe dehydration. The would-be traffickers broke several laws including the Animal Disease Act of 2015, the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2019, and the Customs Act of 2017. 

Staff discovered 50 chameleons, 35 turtles, 20 snakes, two armadillos, and two porcupines in their bags. If convicted, the women could end up in prison for several years and be banned from overseas travel. 

Lucrative Industry

You’d think that after the coronavirus disaster, people would be a little more apprehensive about smuggling animals overseas. Millions of COVID deaths didn’t seem to phase these women, though, as the potential for profit was too alluring. 

Chief of the wildlife inspection office at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Sathon Konggoen, said: ‘This kind of case has happened many times because the animals have expensive price tags in India.’’

The surviving animals were placed in the care of relevant authorities and the women are awaiting their trials and subsequent convictions.


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V: 1.22.0 All rights reserved. August 2021