Thai authorities seize 600 smuggled deadly cobras

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Associated Press

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 8:34 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities have seized a pickup truck full of deadly cobras at a checkpoint in the country's central region. They believe the snakes came from Malaysia and were destined for a third country for use in traditional medicine or human consumption.

Thai Customs chief Benja Louicharoen said Tuesday that officials found 600 cobras worth about 500,000 baht ($16,500) in mesh bags inside plastic baskets in the truck.

Officials arrested the Thai driver after the suspicious vehicle was stopped 210 kilometers (130 miles) south of Bangkok.

Benja said the man confessed that he was delivering the snakes to northeast Thailand where they were to be smuggled over the border into Laos.

Thailand is a major transit country for illegal wildlife trafficking in Asia.

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