Talk about snakes on a plane.
Bureau of Customs officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday found seven baby pythons stashed in a shipment of toys from Indonesia.
The seizure was announced on the Bureau of Customs Twitter account, which also identified the snakes as ball pythons. It also said the baby pythons could fetch from P4,500 to P10,000 per piece from exotic pet collectors.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon told Yahoo! Southeast Asia that the pythons were brought to the Philippines on a FedEx courier flight.
"There is a consignee named in the shipment, but it is subject of (an) ongoing investigation," he also said.
According to the Bureau of Customs, the attempt to smuggle the pythons into the Philippines violates the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Under the law the exportation and importation of wildlife--especially of exotic species-- requires clearance from the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.
This is not the first instance that the Philippines has figured in the trade of exotic wildlife and byproducts like ivory.
Earlier this month, Palawan police found 27 Philippine Forest Turtles in a bag abandoned at Liminancong Pier. Police believe the turtles, as well as crocodiles in cages also abandoned at the pier, were meant to be smuggled out of the island province.
In September, a National Geographic report tagged the Philippines as a destination for ivory poached from elephants in Africa. That same month, Customs officials also seized rhino horns from a container van at the Manila International Container Terminal.
Aside from violating wildlife conservation laws, the shipment is also in violation of the Tariff and Customs Code.
Reelectionist Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV became the last senator-elect to have his arms raised by poll officials after the May 13 elections.