Smuggler dumps rare turtles, cobra

Smuggler dumps rare turtles, cobra

SA KAEO - Up to 100 turtles and a cobra were abandoned by the side of a road after police stopped a smuggling truck headed to the Thai-Cambodian border.

The officers stopped a pickup truck at a checkpoint on Road No.359 in Muang district yesterday and asked to see the driver’s licence and inspect the back of the vehicle.

The driver sped away. A few hours later, locals told police they had found sacks containing the reptiles abandoned by a road in Ban Chatthong in tambon Thakasem.

A search revealed about 100 Asian box turtles in 24 fertiliser sacks as well as a large cobra in another sack.

Pol Col Thanawut Jongjira, the Sa Kaeo police chief, said police believed the animals were destined to be smuggled across the border by an animal smuggling ring.

He said that the pickup driver left behind his licence as he escaped. He was identified as Ekkapol Worasiri, a 33-year-old native from Chachoengsao.

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