In an unusual seizure at Chennai airport, live spiders were seized on Friday by Chennai Air Customs in a postal parcel that arrived from Poland.

Based on information Chennai Air Customs intercepted a postal parcel which arrived from Poland at Foreign Post Office on suspicion of containing some arthropod/invertebrate species.

The parcel was addressed to Arupukotai (Tamil Nadu) based person. On opening the parcel a thermocol box was found in which 107 small plastic vials wrapped in silver foil and cotton were found. On examination, live spiders were found inside each vial, says a release issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.

Wild Life Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) officials & scientist of Zoological Survey of India (SRC) were called to identify the species. Based on morphological examination they suspected the spiders to be of GenusPhonopelma and Brachypelma which are CITES listed Tarantulas, native of South, 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 FT(D&R) Act. The parcel containing the spiders was handed over to postal authorities to deport to Poland the country of origin.

Further investigations are under progress, the release said.