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Man arrested, had 95 live snakes in carry-on luggage

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Well-known member
Apr 30, 2006
Imagine this bag busting open at cruise altitude....


Officials found 95 live boa constrictors in a piece of luggage at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur airport, a discovery that led to the arrest of a notorious smuggler that AFP says is known as the "Lizard King."

The Sun of London writes that the so-called Lizard King -- 52-year-old Anson Wong -- "had intended to take [the 95 snakes] to the Indonesian capital Jakarta, where they would fetch a high price. But his plan unraveled when his bulging hand luggage burst open at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday."

The BBC says the 95 boa constrictors "shared the bag with two rhinoceros vipers and a matamata turtle."

As you might suspect from the nickname, Friday's incident isn't Wong's first run-in with the law. The Associated Press writes that "Wong, a Malaysian national, has already served jail time for wildlife trafficking in the United States. In 2001, a U.S. court sentenced him to almost six years in prison for running an animal-smuggling ring that prosecutors said imported and sold more than 300 protected reptiles native to Asia and Africa. Wong had been arrested in Mexico in 1998."

Animal-rights activists had urged Malaysian officials hit Wong with a tough penalty, but he was given a lesser sentence of six months in jail and a fine of about $50,000. Reuters reports that TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring organization, called that sentence a "tragedy."

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