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Driver arrested with 339 pangolins

BANGKOK’s Highway police arrested a truckdriver transporting 339 pangolins, apparently bound for other Asian countries where the animals are used to prepare traditional medicines, officials said yesterday.

The arrest was made on Sunday outside Bangkok, Captain Suchet Nakcharoen said. He said the driver had confessed he had been hired to deliver the animals to an address in Bangkok.

He said the animals had been found crammed into 48 crates covered by a plastic sheet in the truck, which had come from Chumphon province.

A pangolin is a type of anteater and a protected species by Thai law since 1992.

It is believed that the rescued pangolins had been brought from Malaysia for shipping to China, Hong Kong or Taiwan to be used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.

The shipment was worth Bt600,000, officials said.

It was the second such seizure this year. Last year, the Customs Department rescued more than 3,000 pangolins smuggled into the country.

Many Chinese believe that consuming medicines made of the body parts of some animals increases sex drive.

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