Chennai: In an unusual seizure at Chennai airport, live spiders were seized by Chennai Air Customs in a postal parcel that arrived from Poland.
The Air Customs officials in the city intercepted the parcel from Poland that had arrived at the Foreign Post Office. According to officials, the parcel contained arthropods (hard-bodies species without a backbone) or invertebrates (cold-blooded species without backbones).
Upon opening the parcel, the officials found a thermocol box that had 107 plastic vials, which was wrapped in silver foil and cotton and live spiders were found in each of those vials. The consignment was addressed to a person based out of Arupukottai.
Wild Life Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) officials and scientists of Zoological Survey of India (SRC) were called to identify the species. Based on morphological examination, they suspected the spiders to be of genus phonopelma and brachypelma which are CITES-listed tarantulas, native of South, Central America and Mexico.
Animal quarantine officials recommended deporting the parcel containing the spiders to the country of origin as the said import is illegal as there were no DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) licence and health-related documents of import into India.
The spiders were seized under the Customs Act 1962 read with the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. The parcel containing the spiders were handed over to postal authorities to deport to Poland, the country of origin. Further investigations were under progress, a release said.