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Crime

Pick-Up Truck at Thai Border Found Smuggling 600 Cobras

BANGKOK (TheBlaze/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.

An official shows one of 600 cobras seized by the Thai Customs Department. (Photo: AP/Sakchai Lalit)

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.

Watch this NTD TV report:

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

"At the moment, countries are concentrating on stopping illegal wildlife smuggling and trading, especially through Thailand as passageway," Theerapat Prayurabiddhi, the deputy director in the custom department, said, according to NTDTV. "Thai customs is doing our best to follow the illegal activities, by investigating and stopping the smuggling."

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