GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — Indonesian authorities have arrested a Russian tourist for allegedly attempting to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of the country.
Twenty-seven-year-old Andrei Zhestkov now faces five years in prison and $7,000 in fines after Indonesian police arrested him at Denpasar airport on March 22.
Local reports said the suspect was apprehended by security personnel after they discovered with him a two-year-old orangutan sleeping in a rattan basket.
They also found five lizards and two geckos in the suspect’s suitcase.
The suspect told authorities he injected a mixture to the endangered primate to make it unconscious.
Zhestkov said he was convinced by a friend that it’s fine to bring the orangutan back to Russia — which he bought at $3,000 in the Java island — as long as he would keep it as a pet.
Police, meanwhile, look at possibility if Zhestkov may have links to wildlife trafficking syndicates.