Malaysian authorities today announced that they seized 330 endangered tortoises from Madagascar when they inspected a suitcase at an airport in Kuala Lumpur. The living reptiles are worth an estimated 1.2 million rinnggit or around $300,000.
The Indian Star tortoises and five Ploughshare tortoises were found in five boxes and labeled as stones. The passenger was flying Etihad Airways from Madagascar when a customs official made the discovery.
Wildlife smuggling has become an increasing lucrative business and a headache for airport officials who have found everything pangolin scales work two million and rhino horns. [ITB]