Customs officials at Chennai airport found 107 live spiders in a postal parcel that arrived from Poland at the Foreign Post Office.
In a statement, the customs said the parcel was addressed to a person in Tamil Nadu’s Arupukotai. When it was cut open, a thermocol box was found in which 107 small plastic vials wrapped in silver foil and cotton were visible. On checking, live spiders were found inside each vial.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) officials and Zoological Survey of India (SRC) scientists were called to identify the species. The officials suspected the spiders to be of the genus Phonopelma and Brachypelma, or a type of tarantulas that are native to South and Central America and Mexico.
The Animal Quarantine Officials recommended to deport the parcel containing the spiders to country of origin as the said import is illegal as there was no DGFT license and health related documents of import into India.
The spiders were seized under the Customs Act 1962 read with Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act. The parcel containing the spiders were handed over to postal authorities to deport to Poland, said Chennai Air Customs.
Further investigations are under progress, the release said.