Thailand Authorities Find Suitcases Filled With Baby Animals

Atlanta 5/14/2011 03:53 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Authorities in Thailand arrested a man at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok after discovering drugged baby animals in his suitcases. Authorities say the suspect, who has been identified as Noor Mahmoodr, was trying to smuggle two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys to Dubai. All of the animals were about the size of puppies.

“It looked like they had sedated the animals and had them in flat cages so they couldn’t move around much,” said Steven Galster, the director of the anti-trafficking group FREELAND Foundation. “It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We’ve never seen one like this before. The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases.”

Mahmoodr, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, was charged with smuggling and possession of endangered wildlife. He is believed to be a part of a larger smuggling ring, according to Thai nature police Col. Kiattipong Khaosum-arng. “We believe Mahmoodr has done this several times already, and there is a network involved in this case,” Kiattipong told CNN.

Mahmoodr was released on bail.

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