Horned pitviper among rare reptiles seized from smuggler's baggage at Indian airport

Customs officials at a south Indian airport seized a variety of endangered reptiles and amphibians from a passenger's baggage on Monday (March 25).

The cold-blooded cargo was discovered at Chennai International airport in Tamil Nadu state, which included a horned pitviper, which has a potentially lethal venom, and several other endangered reptiles kept in the bag of a passenger who had arrived from Bangkok.

The passenger, 22-year-old Chennai student Mohammed Abdul Majeed, arrived from Bangkok on Thai airways flight number TG337. The wildlife species in seized under the provision of the Indian Customs Act of 1962.

Majeed was detained and the seized wildlife species will be sent back to Bangkok. Apart from the viper, two Rhinoceros iguanas, three Rock iguanas, 22 Egyptian tortoises and some amphibian species were found inside plastic containers in his passenger bag.