Thai Airport Smuggler Busted with Baby Leopards, Panthers

by Rebecca Dolan Subscribe to Rebecca Dolan's posts Posted May 13th 2011 09:15 AM



The man was waiting to check in at Suvarnabhumi International Airport for a flight to Dubai when he was apprehended by undercover anti-trafficking officers. Officers had been monitoring him since he made the black market purchase of the animals.

The 36-year-old has not been identified, only that he was a citizen of the United Arab Emirates.

Inside his luggage were two leopards, two panthers, two macaque monkeys and an Asiatic black bear.

The animals, all about the size of puppies, had been drugged and placed in flat cages or canisters with air holes.

"It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before," Steven Galster, director of anti-trafficking group FREELAND Foundation, told the Associated Press. "The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."

Leopards and panthers can go for around $5,000 on the black market in Thailand. But, they likely would have sold for more in Dubai.

"He was not a normal smuggler," said Galster in an AP video. "He was checked into first class, seems to have some special connections and has already been released on bail."

It is unknown whether the animals were destined to be sold or kept as exotic pets.

Thailand is a popular location for wildlife smuggling. Typically it involves tortoises, rare turtles, snakes and lizards bound for Vietnam and China.

Just last February a man was arrested at the same airport with bags full of illegal animals. Last August a baby tiger cub was found among stuffed animals in a suitcase. In July 2010, a man was caught trying to smuggle monkeys in his clothes at the Mexico City airport.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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Another reason why Dubai needs to be wiped off the map. Way too many sick people there with so much money they think they can do whatever they want with no regard to life, human or animal.

Time for Dubai to go if you ask me. No place should have that much "wealth".. it's disgusting.

May 14 2011 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Lathom

My girlfriend and I saw a guy with a small monkey like the one from Friends in a CVS the other day. I've always wanted one but i know damn well that monkey didn't get here legally. And there's no telling how that little guy could tear a house up.

May 13 2011 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 13 2011 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lock him up for the rest of his life...........feed him bread and water.........every other day.

May 13 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I want a tiger!!! if anyone can get them let me know!! and to you animal rights freaks piss off they are animals and could be less dangerous if they were in contact with humans more and not treated like CRAP so get a life and do something about it! not just typing on the computer! :)

May 13 2011 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to white02owl's comment

The moran should be locked up for good as this situation will continue until the countries involved become aware of what their doing to these innocent animals. As long as there are individuals in foreign countries who will pay big bucks for baby animals then the temptation will always be there for smugglers to smuggle the animals out of countries such as Thailand . Sorry situation !

May 13 2011 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thai airport doesn't have the common curtousy TSA ground grope and anal probe the states have???

May 13 2011 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the tape it was mentioned that this man seemed to have had connections since he was released on bail so soon. Well, I have a "connection" for him between my foot and his ass!

May 13 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It is appalling what humans can do to animals. We are supposed to be, as human beings, responsible for the care of other living things. The same thing can be said for trafficing humans, except humans have the capabilities to save themselves. These poachers from starving countries will try to sell anything. What, does some wealthy sheik want? New play pets? Do people understand the concept of endangered species? It would be too much to ask that these people recieve punishment and their governments sanctioned. In the US, we have placed wolves up for sale again. Why would anyone want to shoot a wolf? Pelt, to eat; what? The burros and mustangs, are rounded up and, shipped off to slaughter houses. In my state the deer have been over hunted until their populations are very low. No trophy bucks are left. What does the future hold for babies being born today? Seeing animals in zoos which have been hunted to extinction and have disappeared from the wild? Is that the world we want to leave our children?

May 13 2011 at 2:35 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

These people make me sick, almost as sick as the morons that want these animals as pets. Sssso wish it was possible to beat these people within an inch of their lives, right before you find a proper home for these animals.

May 13 2011 at 2:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply