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Man arrested at airport for smuggling drugs orangutan in luggage

Now, the smuggler faces up to five years in prison and $ 7,000 in fines.
(Denpasar Quarantine office/Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Bali)

A Russian man was arrested at Bali airport for attempting to smuggle a drugged baby orangutan in his luggage from the sky hub and back to his own country. The tourist is now up to $7,000 in fines and five years in prison.

On Friday evening, Andrei Zhestkov, has been arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport before boarding a flight back to Russia, The Independent reports. The officers found the 2-year-old orang-utan fast asleep in a basket, of course, drugged up with allergy pills, after a routine security screening.

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Zhestkov, 27, reportedly told officials that he had received from the protected primate by his friend, who had bought the creature for up to $3,000 in a Java-street market. He described that his friend, also from Russia, he was convinced that he would be able to take the orangutans home to keep as pets, per The Guardian.

The authorities also discovered two geckos and five species of lizards in the man’s luggage.

Now, the smuggler faces up to five years in prison and $7,000 in fines, according to the outlet.

“[Zhestkov] seems prepared, as he is carrying a baby,” Bali conservation official I Ketut Catur Marbawa said of the scene, showing that the Russian man was also full of baby formula and blankets.

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The baby orangutan, and is now cared for by the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency, BBC.

As noted by the World wildlife foundation, the orangutan is a critically endangered species with a few of the more than 100,000 known to be remaining all over the world.

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