Attempt to Bring 40 Snakes on Plane Foiled

Posted Mar 28th 2011 12:00 PMUpdated Mar 29th 2011 07:10 AM

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diveofficer, flickr

Indonesian airport authorities say they foiled a plot by two men to bring 40 pythons onto an Emirates airplane headed from Jakarta to Dubai.

The two men, both from Kuwait, were arrested as they entered the departures area at the Jakarta airport after X-rays showed their bags filled with sedated pythons, officials said.

The suspects told authorities they planned to sell the snakes to collectors in the United Arab Emirates, reports the Associated Press.

They face up to seven years in jail and a fine of $32,000, if found guilty of wildlife smuggling.

"People often use the flights to Dubai to smuggle illegal animals," an official at Jakarta airport, Salahudin Rafi, told AFP news agency. He added no animals are allowed on airplanes "without permission and special handling."

The pythons were being held in a quarantine area at the Jakarta airport.

In December, police in the United Arab Emirates arrested a Saudi man they say flew on an eight-hour flight from Indonesia to Abu Dhabi with four snakes in his carry-on luggage.

Unlike in the 2006 movie "Snakes on a Plane," the creatures were not released in flight.

In another case involving snakes, in September, a notorious wildlife smuggler, known as the "Lizard King," was sentenced to six months in prison in Malaysia after being nabbed smuggling 95 live boa constrictors in his luggage. Anson Wong, 52, a Malaysian national, pleaded guilty to wildlife smuggling.

Indonesian official with python, AFP/Getty Images

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