Creepy cargo: Philippines seizes 757 tarantulas from Poland

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The Tarantulas seized had an estimated value of P310,000 (about $6,000). (AP)
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The endangered wildlife species were found concealed in gift-wrapped oatmeal and cookie boxes and was shipped from Poland. (AP)
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Customs agents caught the cargo at Manila's airport last April 1. (AP)
Updated 03 April 2019

Creepy cargo: Philippines seizes 757 tarantulas from Poland

  • Philippine wildlife laws prohibit the trading, collection and possession of such spiders
  • The customs later arrested a Filipino man who tried to claim the spiders as “collection items”

MANILA: Philippine customs officials were astonished when they opened nicely gift-wrapped boxes of cookies and oatmeal flown in all the way from Poland and found a hair-raising contraband: hundreds of live tarantulas.
Bureau of Customs personnel seized the 757 tarantulas at a mail exchange center near Manila’s international airport Monday and later arrested a Filipino man who tried to claim the long-legged and venomous spiders, which were declared as “collection items.”
Many of the baby tarantulas were concealed in small plastic vials punctured with holes for air while bigger spiders were shipped in see-through plastic containers. Officials estimated the value of the unusual shipment at 310,000 pesos ($5,900).
Philippine wildlife laws prohibit the trading, collection and possession of such spiders, which are popular pets among arachnid enthusiasts, without permits.
Despite threats of hefty fines and imprisonment, a startling array of wildlife have been seized by the hundreds by airport customs inspectors in Manila since last year, including geckos, iguanas, chameleons and a popular reptile called bearded dragons.


‘Mission: Impossible VII’ halts Italy filming over coronavirus

Updated 25 February 2020

‘Mission: Impossible VII’ halts Italy filming over coronavirus

  • Seventh installment of ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise was scheduled to shoot in Venice for three weeks
  • taly reported its seventh death from the new coronavirus on Monday

WASHINGTON: Production on the latest film in the “Mission: Impossible” series starring Tom Cruise has been stopped in Italy following the outbreak of coronavirus cases, US media reported Monday.
According to entertainment specialist The Wrap, the seventh installment of the Paramount Pictures franchise was scheduled to shoot in Venice for three weeks.
“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement to The Wrap.
The spokesperson added that Cruise had not traveled to Italy, and that crew members were allowed to return home until production started.
Italy reported its seventh death from the new coronavirus Monday, but officials called for calm and reported a lower rise in the number of infections after a spike over the weekend.
The number of cases now stood at 229, the head of Italy’s civil protection department Angelo Borelli said at a press conference on Monday evening, the highest number in Europe.
In addition to “MI7,” the spread of the virus has disrupted high-profile events including Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival. On Monday evening, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced that six Serie A football matches would be played behind closed doors.
“Mission: Impossible VII” is due in theaters on July 23, 2021.