Thailand Seizes 600 Smuggled Cobras

November 14, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
A snake butcher, Muhammad Nur, holds a cobra as they are harvested to make into burgers on June 24, 2010 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The snakes are caught and processed into burgers which are served at a local restaurant in various guises. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Thai authorities seized around 600 cobras that were being smuggled in a truck, it was reported this week.

The truck driver admitted to smuggling the highly venomous snakes after he was stopped at a checkpoint in central Thailand, reported Sky News.

In order to detect the animals, authorities set up an X-ray detection system at the checkpoint.

The snakes came from Malaysia and were being sent through Thailand to reach the final, apparent destination of Laos. The snakes are sometimes used for food and traditional medicine, the broadcaster reported.

“The Bureau of Investigation and Suppression have been tracking this case for a year,” Benja Louichareon, the head of Thailand’s customs agency, told Sky. She added, “It’s a lot (of snakes).”

Officials estimate the snakes are worth around 500,000 baht ($16,282).

The driver also confessed that he transported snakes numerous times in the past from Malaysia to Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima, reported The Hindu newspaper.

Thailand is considered a focal point for illegally smuggling animals. Last month, Thai police found 16 Tiger cubs headed for Laos, according to the BBC.

The cobras were being stored in mesh bags inside of plastic baskets. The snakes that survived the trip will be released back into the wild, Sky News reported.

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