Customs Authorities Bust Woman Who Taped 87 Trafficked Animals to Body

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Customs authorities in northern Taiwan confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of a suspected wildlife trafficker, who reportedly had 87 live animals taped to her body.
The 64-year-old woman, a repeat offender according to Taiwan’s Liberty Times, arrived on a flight from Thailand’s capital Bangkok on Sunday and sought to enter Taoyuan airport, which serves Taipei, the island’s capital city.
The suspect traveled with a friend and carried with her at least four species of primate, all but one of which face euthanasia under Taiwanese law governing the import of wild animals, per the newspaper.
The woman was already on the Taipei Customs watch list for previously traveling with live animals, the report said. She was stopped and found with a number of specimens attached to her body, including class 1-3 protected species—with class 1 being endangered.
The reported 87 animals included at least one Sunda slow loris, also known as the greater slow loris, which Taiwan’s Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency, under the Agriculture Ministry, categorizes as a class 1 protected species.
The Sunda slow loris also is classified as endangered on the Red List maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, based in Switzerland.
Other animals the woman allegedly attempted to smuggle included an unknown number of common marmoset, Senegal bushbaby, Asian barred owlet, green iguana, Nile monitor, Indian star tortoise, Mekong snail-eating turtle, and elongated tortoise.
Taiwanese authorities are likely to euthanize all but the Sunda slow loris to comply with disease control and prevention laws, the newspaper said.
An Indonesian nature conservation agency officer prepares to release a Sunda slow loris into the wild in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on August 1, 2019. A Sunda slow loris was reportedly among a number of live… An Indonesian nature conservation agency officer prepares to release a Sunda slow loris into the wild in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on August 1, 2019. A Sunda slow loris was reportedly among a number of live animals that a woman attempted to smuggle into Taiwan on May 19, 2024. More CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images
Taiwan’s Customs Administration told the semiofficial Central News Agency that the case was being investigated. The woman’s name and nationality were not disclosed.
The island’s customs authority declined to give a precise number of specimens found taped to the woman. The estimated market value of the trafficked live goods was unknown.
Taiwan has long battled with attempts to smuggle wildlife in and out of its borders, with local and foreign buyers paying handsomely for exotic species from neighboring China and countries in Southeast Asia.
In December, a Taiwanese national was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport while trying to fly two otters and a prairie dog back home.
In October 2021, Taiwan’s coast guard thwarted a fishing crew’s elaborate attempt to smuggle 154 cats—Russian blues, ragdolls, Persians, American shorthairs, British shorthairs, Munchkins and Maine Coons—from China into a local port.
In a charge sheet published two months later, prosecutors in Taiwan’s southern port city of Kaohsiung said the vessel was first loaded with fish to disguise its cargo, then arranged to meet Chinese sellers in international waters before sailing back with the cats hidden in the cabin.

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