TANZANIA TIMES
The Times of Tanzania

Lady from Ukraine Smuggles 116 Live Reptiles Out of Tanzania

How did this Ukrainian Woman manage to smuggle 116 live tortoises through Dar-es-Salaam Airport to Bangkok via Addis Ababa?


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It is still a puzzle regarding how the Ukrainian Woman who was recently nabbed in Bangkok with more than 115 live tortoises from Tanzania in her suitcases, managed to capture the reptiles, here undetected.

Even more baffling is how Ms Olga Kryshtopa managed to cross all check-points at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar-es-Salaam and board the Ethiopian Airlines plane without being suspected or even questioned.

However, the Ukrainian Lady would later be arrested by the Police Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, as she landed in Thailand.

Her luggage, mostly suitcases, were discovered to have been filled by more than 116 live tortoises in her luggage.

Reports from the Bangkok Police indicate that the woman from Ukraine smuggled the protected wildlife on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Dar es Salaam.

She was traveling from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to Bangkok, Thailand, but via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, where she switched planes on transit.

Chief of the Wildlife Checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Sathon Kong-ngern reported that police arrested Olga Kryshtopa of Ukrainian nationality after X-raying her luggage.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok

The X-ray cameras detected live creatures in the suitcases.

When they were finally opened, some 116 live tortoises were found to be stuffed inside.

Bangkok Airport officials discovered 14 radiated Tortoises, 98 African Pancake Tortoises, and 4 Aldabra Giant Tortoises. These Tanzanian Reptiles, with an estimated value of USD 25,000 in Total, (calculated from 900,000 Thailand baht), were confiscated By Thai Airport Wildlife Authorities.

Police arrested Olga for illegally trafficking wildlife under Section 23 of Thailand’s Wildlife Protection and Protection Act, Section 31 of the Animal Epidemics Act, and Section 242,244 of the Customs Act.

As it happens, smuggling wildlife into Thailand carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Chief of the Wildlife Checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Sathon Kong-ngern however did not divulge whether all the tortoises had survived the 20-hour journey from Dar to Bangkok, or not.

Previously at the same airport, two Indian women were arrested for attempting to smuggle out of Thailand, some 109 live wild animals – including lizards, snakes, turtles, porcupines, and armadillos, taking the lot to India.

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