Passenger tried to smuggle a drugged orangutan in suitcase

A Russian tourist has been arrested by Indonesian police at the Denpasar airport in Bali after customs officials found a drugged baby orangutan in his suitcase along with several reptiles.

Andrei Zhestkov, 27, was stopped at a security checkpoint before boarding a plane for Russia on Friday evening.

Officers searched his bag after they saw the animals through an X-ray scan.

The tourist was trying to smuggle the animals out of the country, said police, adding they found the baby monkey sound asleep after it was allegedly been given anti-allergy tablets.

They also found two geckos and five lizards.

"We think the (two-year-old male) orangutan was given allergy medicine that made him fast asleep. We found pills inside the suitcase," the head of Bali's Conservation Centre, I Ketut Catur Marbawa, told AFP news agency.

Orangutans are a critically endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature — only about 100,000 remain worldwide.

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