Bengaluru: A major wildlife smuggling operation was thwarted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

Three passengers, including a woman, were intercepted on arrival from Bangkok, with 18 non-indigenous animals, including four primates and 14 reptiles, found in their baggage.

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Further investigation with the help of the Karnataka Forest Department yielded 139 more animals of 48 different species, including rare and threatened animals such as the yellow and green anaconda, yellow-headed amazon parrot, Nile monitor, red foot tortoise, iguanas, ball pythons, alligator gar, yaki monkey, veiled chameleon, racoon dog, and white-headed pionus.

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All the animals were then handed over to Bannerghatta Biological Park.

Four individuals involved in the smuggling were subsequently arrested and the investigation is still ongoing.

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