Update: Exotic animal smuggler, Anson Wong, sentenced! Six months in jail and a hefty fine for illegally exporting 95 boa constrictor snakes.
A broken suitcase at the Kuala Lumpur airport led to the discovery of a mata mata turtle and nearly 100 boa constrictors and other snakes who had been crammed into bags. Notorious international reptile smuggler Anson Wong was arrested by airport security and turned over to Malaysia’s wildlife department. Does the name ring any bells?
Two companies owned by Wong were suppliers to U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the wildlife trafficking company that went belly-up after a PETA investigation led authorities to seize more than 26,000 animals from the company’s Texas warehouse and the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue an arrest warrant for Jasen Shaw, who is still a fugitive hiding out overseas.
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This isn’t the first time that Wong has been suspected of slipping a little more into his luggage than duty-free liquor. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to trafficking in wildlife in the U.S. and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. Yet here he is, nearly a decade later, still stuffing snakes into his Samsonite.
Next time, let’s hope that Wong gets busted in China, where they are dead serious about wildlife smuggling (at least for now).
Written by Alisa Mullins