Illustrative image (Source: EPA/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - A Japanese man was arrested in Indonesia on May 19 for trying to smuggle hundreds of reptiles out of the country, including snakes, lizards and turtles.

According to Indonesian authorities and environmentalists, Katsuhide Naito, believed to be a major player in the wildlife-smuggling trade, was detained at Jakarta's main airport as he was about to board a flight to Tokyo with about 250 animals hidden in his bags.

A spokesperson for the Wildlife Conservation Society said the reptiles are stuffed into four suitcases and one box, four are dead.

Before arriving in Jakarta, Naito had been in Medan, Sumatra island. He could face up to three years in prison if found guilty of breaking Indonesian wildlife laws.

He was arrested in 2005 in Australia for attempting to smuggle reptiles into the country from Indonesia.

Indonesia is home to vast rainforests and various exotic animals, but wildlife smuggling is challenging law enforcement efforts.-VNA