BOC recovers rare leopard gecko from Thailand parcel
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport unit seized a live leopard gecko worth around P20,000 from a parcel from Thailand.
The package arrived at the Paircargo warehouse in Parañaque City last July 5 without the required import permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), prompting a physical examination of the parcel, the BOC said in a statement Monday.
The seized rare gecko was immediately turned over to the DENR.
“The seized leopard gecko shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 in relation to Section 117 of the RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Section 11 of RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act),” the BOC said.
According to the bureau, the DENR “will pursue the case building and prosecution against the importer and co-conspirators for violation of RA 9147.”
The Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers, BOC’s legal service, meanwhile, will be tapped to conduct case build-up and prosecution for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA, the BOC added.
The DENR said the gecko is a species regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Flora and Fauna and protected under the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
Collection and trade of species under the regulation requires an import permit from the Biodiversity Management Bureau under the DENR while violation of the act is punishable by imprisonment up to four years and a fine up to P300,000, the BOC noted. (Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee)
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