Malaysian police save 5,000 smuggled reptiles from
the cooking pot

Dpa German Press Agency
December 4, 2006

Kuala Lumpur- Malaysian customs police rescued some 5,000 snakes, lizards and tortoises due to be smuggled out of the country and bound for the cooking pot, a news report said Tuesday. A raid on a factory in the southern Johor state, next to neighboring Singapore, resulted in the discovery of 191 boxes of 2,488 monitor lizards, 142 crates of some 2,000 tortoises and 50 crates of 444 snakes - mainly of the cobra species.

Customs preventive director Mohamed Adnan Ariffin said Saturday's seizure was one of the biggest of the year.

"We believe these animals were meant for the restaurants of a neighboring country," Adnan was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times daily.

The animals were handed over to wildlife department officials and are due to be released into the wild.

Customs officers on Sunday arrested a local man believed to be the owner of the factory, and will likely charge him with possession of prohibited goods.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency



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