Malaysia: 181 snakes seized from Bangkok-Padang Besar express train

The Star 22 Aug 16;

PADANG BESAR: Like a scene straight out of the Hollywood movie Snakes on a Plane, the Perlis Royal Malaysian Customs Department found itself in a similar predicament.

Except that the 181 serpents were found on board the Bangkok-Padang Besar express train on Monday morning.

Other animals smuggled included two iguanas, 28 Dhab lizards, 10 tortoises, 10 squirrel gliders and 11 rabbits. The 248 exotic animals were worth about RM70,000.

Initial investigations revealed a syndicate attempted to smuggle the animals of various species in four bags when a team of customs enforcement officers unmasked the “ticketless commuters”.

Department director Kamarudin Jaafar said the animals were meant for sale as pets as there was a high demand for them.

He said about 9am, customs officers checked the passenger and cargo coaches, only to stumble on four suspicious-looking bags.

"Two bags were found in the cargo coach and the rest in the toilet. When the bags were put through the scanning machine, movements believed to be made by live animals were detected," he told a press conference here.

Kamarudin said the 248 animals - confiscated under the Customs Act 1967 - were handed over to the Perlis Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) for further action.

He added that the owner of the bags could not be detected.

Perlis Perhilitan director Mohamad Affendi Ibrahim said all the animals were foreign species worth hundreds of ringgit each.

He said the case would be investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716). - Bernama

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