Tarantula A Customs official shows the confiscated head of Tarantulas. Photo courtesy of Customs-NAIA

Tarantulas declared as ‘snacks’ seized

June 19, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 264 views

BUREAU of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) operatives intercepted four heads of tarantulas without the required DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) permits and misdeclared them as “snacks – sweet salted fish” at the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) Tuesday, June 19, 2023.

The outbound parcel was allegedly sent by a sender from Caloocan City to a recipient in Seoul, Korea, via the Express Mail Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Phlpost).

Through the intensified X-ray screening by the X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) operatives, the parcel was tagged as suspiciously containing illegal goods based on the generated images.

The package was examined in coordination with the operatives from the Enforcement and Security Service-Environmental Protection and Compliance Division (ESS-EPCD) and DENR in NAIA and discovered the said number of tarantulas in violation of RA (Republic Act) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

All the tarantulas were immediately turned over to DENR for safekeeping and monitoring, pending investigation and filing a case against the sender.

Authorities will also be filing corresponding seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Sections 117 and 1113 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to RA 9147.