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Sept 24, 2007
cobra snake
A cobra snake was found in an airline passenger's hand luggage.
Snakes, crocs found in airline passenger's hand luggage
by Gulliver

Shakes alive! It almost became a real life case of 'Snakes on a Plane' when a Saudi man tried to smuggle live reptiles on board a plane at Cairo airport recently.

The snakes, chameleons and baby crocodiles were discovered in his hand luggage as he tried to board a flight bound for Saudi Arabia.

Amazingly the 22-year-old passenger claimed he did not know the transport of live reptiles was illegal in Egypt.

Horrified security officers found the weird luggage contents as the man passed through the X-ray machine at the departure gate.

After the machine produced strange readings police opened his bags and discovered a large number of reptiles squirming to escape.

The haul included a live cobra and 250 baby crocodiles.

The animals were confiscated and turned over to Cairo Zoo.

The man claimed the reptiles were needed by a Saudi university for scientific research and experiments.

The discovery caused a brief panic among airport security personnel, according to the Egyptian state news agency Mena.

Airport vet Yusef Mamduh was quoted by the agency as saying it was "the largest smuggling attempt of Nile crocodiles in the whole of aviation history."

The passenger was later allowed to return to Riyadh the Saudi capital.

In May, another Saudi national was caught at Cairo airport carrying 700 live snakes in his hand luggage.
He told authorities that snakes were often kept in Saudi Arabia by shopkeepers in glass jars or used as pets.

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