AS part of the mandate of the Bureau of Customs – Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) to secure the country’s border against the import and export of prohibited, regulated, and restricted goods, the BOC- NAIA Operatives intercepted Tarantulas without the required DENR permits, misdeclared as “Snacks – Sweet Salted Fish” at the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) on June 19, 2023.
The outbound parcel was sent by an individual from Caloocan City to a recipient in Seoul, Korea via Express Mail Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Phlpost).
Through the intensified x-ray screening of the operatives of X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP), the parcel was tagged as suspiciously containing illegal goods based on the generated images. The package was examined in coordination with operatives from the Enforcement and Security Service – Environmental Protection and Compliance Division (ESS-EPCD) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in NAIA. As per examiners’ findings, it contains 4 heads of tarantulas in violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
All of the Tarantulas were immediately turned over to DENR for safe keeping and monitoring, pending investigation and filing of case against the sender, and filing of corresponding seizure & forfeiture proceedings for violation of Sections 117 and 1113 of the Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The BOC shall maintain strong collaboration with DENR against wildlife smuggling and remain vigilant in monitoring the import and export transactions of animals, especially those critical and endangered species.