The Bureau of Customs-Port of NAIA (BOC-NAIA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secured the conviction of illegal wildlife traders after the Metropolitan Trial Court in Pasay City convicted two claimants of smuggled wildlife species on Sept. 22 and Oct. 4.
The accused individuals violated Section [i] of Republic Act No. 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) and Section 1401 (a) of Republic Act No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act).
The first accused was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment and a fine of P26,000 for smuggling 10 tarantulas. The 10 heads of tarantula worth approximately P75,000 were declared as “origami.”
Meanwhile, the second accused was the claimant of a parcel containing 41 different kinds of wildlife species declared “Lego Toys.” He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and meted a fine totaling P125,000. The accused was arrested on May 28 after claiming 41 wildlife species (sulcate tortoise, black pond turtle, bearded dragon, corn snake, and savannah lizards) with an estimated value of P284,000.
Joint operatives from the BOC-NAIA, Enforcement and Security Service-NAIA, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-NAIA, X-ray Inspection Project-NAIA, DENR-National Capital Region, and the Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit-NAIA discovered both imported parcels without the required licenses and import permits from the DENR.
The conviction manifests the commitment of the BOC, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to penalize smugglers of illegal goods and contrabands; and serve as a deterrent and warning to others engaging in similar unlawful activities.BOC-NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan, under the leadership of Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, commits to enforce its mandates on border protection, trade facilitation, and revenue collection and ensure continuous collaboration with other agencies aligned with the directives of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.