Thursday, 24 February 2011
Wong was caught at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 26 Aug when his suitcase broke open to reveal 95 boa constrictors that he was smuggling to Jakarta. Why a man of his wide reputation as an "importer and exporter" of illegal wildlife across the globe should choose to make a personal delivery has not been revealed. He could have easily recruited his mules to do the work.
blog is here where he continues to be sceptical yet hopeful of the will of the Malaysian government to be more serious with stopping illegal wildlife trading.
One paragraph in the book jumped out at me: "Lucio Coronel got off a plane from Buenos Aires on a Sunday morning wheeling a big, hard-sided suitcase up to the customs line. Ceramics, he said he was carrying. The X-ray showed skeletons." Inside his suitcase, the smuggler was carrying a whole load of live reptiles such as tortoises, turtles, boa constrictors and other snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, frogs and lizards. At least 450 rare, protected or endangered reptiles were found stuffed inside the suitcase.
This got me thinking back to the day I once went through airport security at Subang International Airport in the 1980s. This was well before security checks became so much stricter after 911. Anyway, when my luggage went through the X-ray machine, an ominous, mystery shadow appeared: deeply serrated and about a foot long.
The security officer looked at his colleague and then at me. I looked at him. He looked me up and down. I looked him up and down too. Finally, he asked: what's that inside? So I had to open my suitcase and showed him....an unopened bar of Toblerone chocolates!