DOHA: Customs officials at Hamad International Airport have caught a passenger carrying 52 reptiles, including snakes, in bags made of cloth.
The endangered species were being smuggled into the country, Arabic daily Al Sharq reported yesterday.
Acting Director of Customs, Khalid Hamad Rashid Al Kabi, told the daily that legal action had been taken against the passenger and he had been handed over to authorities.
The reptiles were being carried in half-a-dozen bags, he said. The passenger had made all efforts to ensure the reptiles were hidden from authorities.
Al Kabi said the Ministry of Environment was informed immediately after the passenger was caught because it is they who issue permits for import or export of endangered animal species.
“We have close coordination with the ministry and immediately get in touch with them the moment we come across any such cases,” said Al Kabi.
According to him, the ministry had not cleared the import of the reptiles.
The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna bans trade in and import and export of endangered species, he added.