Box of hundreds of dried beetles seized |

Box of hundreds of dried beetles seized

BANGKOK, Thailand ” A France-bound parcel filled with hundreds of dried beetles and spiders ” including endangered species ” was confiscated Monday at

Thailand’s main international airport, police said.

The box, destined for a collector, contained 1,500 beetles including 17 dried Long-arm Chafer beetles and 15 Ground Beetles, which are protected species under Thai law, Police Lt. Col. Thanayot Kengkasikit said. Some 240 spiders, including Tarantulas, were included in the shipment, Thanayot said.

Thanayot said he believes police have exposed an insect smuggling ring operating between the two countries. “If this continues, it will be a great danger for the endangered insects,” he said.

The bust is part of a stepped-up campaign by regional authorities to crack down on the trafficking of endangered wildlife, plants and insects.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed in 2005 to form the Wildlife Enforcement Network to combat a black-market trade that generates $10 billion in revenue each year ” third behind illicit dealings in weapons and drugs.

Thailand has since made a number of seizures, confiscating everything from 2,500 dried sea horses to 800 endangered birds. Most of the illegal wildlife is either sold to pet markets in Japan, Europe and the United States or traditional medicine markets in China and other parts of Asia.

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