His suitcase was found to contain 2 young leopards, 2 macaque monkeys, 2 panthers and an Asiatic black bear. All were about the size of small puppies and had been drugged then squashed into the suitcase for a flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Some were packed into small cages and others into canisters with air holes.
A 35 year old United Emirates citizen was arrested by undercover trafficking police as he was waiting to check in at the international airport. Noor Mahmoodr had been monitored by anti-trafficking group the Freeland Foundation, since he purchased the animals on the black market.
Steven Galster, the group’s director stated “It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We’ve never seen one like this before. The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcase.”
Authorities are now searching for his accomplices in what is believed to be an organised trafficking network. If found guilty of attempting to smuggle endangered species out of Thailand, Mahmoodr will face up to four years in jail and a £816 fine.
The animals were all taken to local veterinarians to be checked over and cared for.