Thai authorities seize truck full of 600 deadly cobras

Thai officials say the snakes were being smuggled to Laos for use in medicine or as food.

BANGKOK — Thai authorities have seized a pickup truck full of deadly cobras at a checkpoint in the country's central region. They believe the snakes came from Malaysia and were destined for use in traditional medicine or human consumption.

Thai Customs chief Benja Louicharoen said Tuesday that officials found 600 cobras worth about $16,500 in mesh bags inside plastic baskets in the truck.

Officials arrested a Thai driver after the suspicious vehicle was stopped 130 miles south of Bangkok.

Benja says the man confessed he was delivering the snakes to northeast Thailand where they were to be smuggled over the border into Laos.

Thailand is a major transit country for illegal wildlife trafficking in Asia.