A MAN in Thailand was rumbled trying to smuggle baby leopards, panthers, a
bear and monkeys in his luggage.
The first-class passenger was nabbed while waiting to check-in for a flight to
Dubai at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport.
Undercover officers had been following the 36-year-old UAE resident since he
bought the animals illegally on the black market.
When the officers opened his suitcases they found two leopards, two panthers,
an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys.
Steven Galster, the head of an anti-trafficking group, said: "It looked like
they had sedated the animals and had them in flat cages so they couldn't
move around much."
Authorities believe the man was part of a trafficking network and were
searching for suspected accomplices.
Mr Galster continued: "It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've
never seen one like this before.
"The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases.
"We haven't seen this mixture (of animals) before, it's amazing. We were
The animals are worth Â£3000 on the black market in Thailand but would be worth
much more in Dubai where there is a growing trend of owning wild animals as
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