MANILA - The Bureau of Customs on Monday seized 757 live tarantulas at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.
In a statement Tuesday, the BOC said the tarantulas have an estimated worth of P310,000 and were concealed in gift-wrapped oatmeal and cookies from Poland.
The shipment was sent by a certain Wojciech Pakasz and was consigned to Jesse Camaro, a resident of Caloocan City, according to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) District Collector Carmelita Talusan.
The agency said it has turned over the tarantulas to the environment department's Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit.
Violators of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act may face one to 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of P20,000 to P200,000.
Those who participate in illegal wildlife trading may also face 3 to 6 years imprisonment and a fine of up to P300,000 for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The BOC-NAIA said it has turned over to the environment department some 2,152 wildlife species apprehended through air parcels, baggage, and shipments since 2018.