Thai police stop pickup truck, find 16 tiger cubs

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 8:54pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 8:54pm

Police in northeastern Thailand who chased a pickup truck trying to avoid a highway checkpoint found unexpected contraband in the back of the vehicle: 16 tiger cubs.

Police Colonel Supakorn Khamsingnok said on Saturday the driver told police he was paid US$500 to deliver the cubs from a Bangkok suburb to northeastern Udon Thani province on the border with Laos.

Supakorn said police believe the tigers, packed in eight cages, were being sent outside Thailand. Thailand is a hub of the international black market for protected animals and widlife parts, often used for traditional East Asian medicines.

The driver faces a possible four-year jail term and US$1,300 fine on wildlife smuggling-related charges.