Airport officials foil python smugglers

March 26 2011 at 02:00pm

Indonesian airport officials said they had foiled an attempt by two Kuwaitis to smuggle 40 pythons in their luggage.

Jakarta – Indonesian airport officials said Saturday they had foiled an attempt by two Kuwaitis to smuggle 40 pythons in their luggage. Suspects Yaqub Ebrahim and Ali Hasan were caught Friday at Jakarta’s international airport as they tried to carry the sedated serpents onto an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai.

“From many foiled cases, people often use the flights to Dubai to smuggle illegal animals,” Salahudin Rafi, operational and technical director at airport operator Angkasa Pura II, said in an emailed statement to AFP.

He said the suspects usually sedated the animals so officers could not detect them.

“For the sake of flight safety and security, no animals are allowed to be brought onto aircraft without permission and special handling. Especially pythons, which are considered as wild animals,” Rafi said.

The two suspects were questioned by airport authorities and the pythons were taken to the animal quarantine centre at the airport. – Sapa-AFP