Snakes on a plane: Reptiles were in checked baggage, says Customs

PETALING JAYA: The bag that contained 22 snakes smuggled in on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai, India, was designated as "check-in baggage" and under the purview of the auxiliary police, says the Customs Department.

"Scanning and image monitoring are conducted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) auxiliary police (Polis Bantuan) on duty and the results forwarded to the relevant authorities.

"In this case, the bag that was smuggled out was labelled for check-in. The bag was received by the airlines and (then) fell under the jurisdiction of MAHB auxiliary police," the department said in a statement on Wednesday (May 3).

ALSO READ: 22 snakes seized from woman arriving at Chennai airport from KL

"(Baggage screening) is conducted to ensure the security of the airplane, airport and flights and is more focussed on dangerous contraband such as firearms, ammunition and similar items.

"When passengers go through a Customs check, their carry-on baggage is inspected by our officers," it added.

On Sunday (April 30), Bernama reported that Indian authorities intercepted a woman who was found carrying 22 snakes after arriving at Chennai airport from Kuala Lumpur.

Checks showed that her checked baggage held 22 snakes and a chameleon, packed in transparent plastic containers.

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