Snakes! 2,000+ snakes seized in Thai-Laos border sting

182 baskets containing 2,730 rat snakes and cobras – worth 1 million baht in total – have been intercepted as they were about to be smuggled out of Thailand and into Laos.

Mukdahan Wild Animals Checkpoint officials were joined by personnel from other agencies in confiscating the reptilian cache. Mukdahan is located on the far north-eastern Thai-Laos border

Following a tip-off that a large number of snakes were to be delivered into Laos on a pick-up truck through Ban Bang Sai Noi pier in Mukdahan’s Wan Yai district, a task force siezed the snakes at 8.30pm last night (Sunday).

The officials discovered 3-4 people moving plastic baskets with closed lids from a pick-up truck onto the pier for transport by long-tail boat. The suspects fled when they saw the authorities approaching.

Officials found 15 live snakes inside a net sack in each basket and collected these and the vehicle as evidences to pass onto the Wan Yai Police Station to investigate and arrest the culprits. They will be charged with having wildlife in their possession without permission and importing wildlife without permission under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act 1992.

Authorities are speculating that, once in Laos, the snakes would be sold to Chinese investors to make an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in grain alcohol, which is erroneously thought to have health benefits and serve as an aphrodisiac.

SOURCE: The Nation

Northern Thailand News
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