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Bangkok: Trying to board with wildebeest full of suitcases

Bangkok: Trying to board with wildebeest full of suitcases

A Mongolian man was arrested Saturday at Bangkok International Airport as he prepared to board a plane with snakes, Komodo dragons and turtles in his luggage, Thai customs officials said Monday.

The kingdom is a notorious hub for the smuggling of wild animals, which are usually destined for major markets such as Vietnam or China, where they are used in traditional medicine.

Customs officials found a Komodo dragon, six Indian star turtles, eight iguanas, five snakes, a boa constrictor, and 24 exotic fish.

The wild animals were discovered during a search of the luggage of the man who was preparing to board a flight to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

The Customs Administration said that the authorities accused the man of smuggling protected animals.

Last October, Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport suspended an airport employee after a traveler smuggled more than 30 live animals onto a flight to Taiwan.

The mobile zoo included two baby otters, 28 baby turtles and a badger.

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