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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Australia foils trouser snake smuggler
King Cobra
The man smuggled four deadly King Cobras
A Swedish man has been arrested in Australia after eight dangerous snakes were found strapped to his legs after he arrived on a flight from Thailand.

The 28-year-old was detained after customs officials at Sydney Airport discovered the snakes in packages strapped to the man's calves.

The reptiles included four King Cobras - the largest venomous snakes in the world, capable of killing an elephant.

The cobras were dead but the four other snakes - believed to be emerald tree boas - were still alive.

The man, whose name has not been released, had flown 7500 kilometres (4685 miles).

He has been charged with violating Australia's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.

If convicted, he faces 10 years in jail and a fine of $110,000 Australian ($74,000 US).

Australian Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison praised customs officers for discovering the snakes.

"This detection... send a clear warning to those who may seek to breach Australia's laws at the border," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Snakes seized at Bangkok airport
27 Dec 00  |  Asia-Pacific


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