A bid to smuggle live spiders belonging to an endangered species, was foiled by the Air Customs after a parcel from Poland was seized from the Foreign Post Office in Chennai. The parcel was addressed to a person in southern Tamil Nadu. On cutting open the parcel, the officers found a thermocol box in which 107 plastic vials wrapped in silver foils and cotton. When it was opened, they found live spiders in each of them.
Following this, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau officials and scientists from the Zoological Survey of India were called to examine them. Based on morphological examination they suspected the spiders to be of Genus Phonopelma and Brachypelma which are CITES listed Tarantulas, native of South, Central America and Mexico. Since the import is illegal, on the advice of animal quarantine officials, the spiders would be sent back to Poland. The parcel has been handed over to postal authorities for sending it back to Poland.