An industrial painter was indicted for trying to smuggle 17 animals into Japan.
Narita Customs revealed 40-year-old Kenya Takanishi was suspected of illegally bringing rare monkeys and other small animals out of Bangkok, Thailand, last September.
When the suspect arrived at Narita Airport, customs officials became suspicious of him and checked his baggage. To their surprise, they found animals of various species banned from importing under the Washington Convention such as common marmosets and African spurred tortoises.
Takanishi reportedly admitted to the charges, saying he was asked to carry out the illegal act in exchange for $920.
Officials say two of the monkeys the man tried to smuggle in could be a new species.
Customs inquired Japanese and US research organizations about the monkeys but they could not be identified as any of the known s