Hundreds of cobras seized in Thai customs bust



An official shows one of 600 cobras seized by the Thai Customs Department at a press conference in Bangkok Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The snakes were contained in sacks and plastic containers on a pickup truck and were being delivered to a foreign destination, according to authorities. AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

BANGKOK—Thai customs officers have seized hundreds of cobras being smuggled through the country for use in traditional medicine as a supposed sexual aid, an official said Wednesday.

The 600 deadly wild snakes were discovered in crates on a truck when it was stopped at a checkpoint in the south of the country.

“They were in blue net bags, they could breathe through the net — there were about five cobras in each bag,” the customs officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Estimating the total number of snakes at around 600, the officer said a full count would take place on Wednesday night as it was too dangerous to do it without extra help.

The cobras, worth an estimated $16,300, were destined to be used in traditional medicine, the official said.

They are prized in some forms of Chinese medicine, which holds that their blood and meat boosts sexual potency.

The snakes had been smuggled in via the southern Thai border and were believed to be on their way through the kingdom and destined for neighboring countries, the official added.

There are three cobra species native to Thailand. Although none is endangered, the export of live snakes is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

Two men have been arrested in connection with Monday night’s haul in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and face up to 10 years in jail.

The cobras have been sent to a national park in central Thailand.

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  • Hey_Dudes

    Mabuti at meron pa palang cobra sa Thailand.  Sa Pinas ubus na yata ang mga ito lalo na sa Concepcion Tarlac dahil niluluto ito bilang soup no. 5!

  • Olibo

    This is the favorite food of Chinese. If Adam and Eve were Chinese they will eat the snake instead of the forbidden fruit. We would still be living like heaven in the Garden of Eden. Cheers.

    • nuetraliser

      Amen……. mga thai d ganun nagugutom …. pero tayung mga pinoy dahil sa gutom pati ahas kinakain na hehehhehe……. kawawa bansa natin… mga pinoy …. fight for starvation… asan mga ahas ng gobyerno….

  • WeAry_Bat

    Snakes, lizards…The closest domesticated animal to those is chicken. 

    I used to remember as a child that there was a general aversion to anything wild in the forests.  It was often processed meat and other food products, farm grown, domesticated animals; modern medicines from pharmaceutical companies, western-styled clothes, what else.

    Though on hindsight, we can’t tell if the rise in cancer is due to better reporting or all these, man-made products and their chemicals.

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