A Malaysian man, Keng Liang Wong, was arrested this week after his luggage burst open on a conveyor belt at the Kuala Lumpur airport, exposing 95 endangered boa constrictors. Wong has previously served time in the US for smuggling animals.
While transiting from Malaysia to Indonesia, Wong's bag, which also included a turtle, broke open. He was arrested and has pleaded guilty to wildlife smuggling. All of this is nothing new to Wong, who, in 2001 was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison for smuggling endangered reptiles. Before that he served two years in a Mexican jail where he unsuccessfully fought extradition to the US. From the Department of Justice in 2001:
Between 1996 and 1998, Wong spearheaded an international smuggling ring that illegally imported and sold more than 300 protected reptiles native to Asia and Africa. An undercover federal investigation successfully infiltrated this reptile trade, revealing that Wong illegally imported the reptiles by concealing them in express delivery packages, airline baggage, and large commercial shipments of legally declared animals.
You would think that a guy like Wong, who ran an international smuggling ring and has served time in prison for smuggling animals before, would be a little more discreet when moving nearly 100 snakes by plane. The BBC said he ran the biggest global animal smuggling ring that has ever been broken. At least he could have been a little more creative.
If convicted, Wong could serve up to seven years in a Malaysian prison.