Thai authorities intercept wild animal smuggling ring, seize 1,200 snakes


NONG KHAI, Jan 24 — Police and officials from Thailand’s National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department have arrested three smugglers and seized more than 1,200 snakes and other wild animals worth over Bt1 million en route to the Lao PDR and Vietnam.

Nong Khai provincial police and officials at the provincial wildlife checkpoint, in a combined operation, have arrested three smugglers identified as Saichon Sapimol, 34, a Lao, Thao Thongdaeng Panlang, age 30, 30 years old Lao and one Thai teenager age 17.

The three men were carrying  214 plastic baskets from their car to the Mekong River the provincial seat’s Pako subdistrict.

Inside the plastic baskets, the authorities found 792 Indochinese rat snakes, 462 cobras, 30 black marsh turtles, eight soft-shelled turtles–altogether 1292 wild animals valued att more than Bt1 million.

They told the authorities that they were hired to transport the animals from Phichit, en route to Lao and Vietnam.