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Man arrested for smuggling exotic animals at Thailand airport

May 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Thailand, authorities have arrested a first-class passenger at Bangkok's international airport.

His suitcases were filled with baby leopards, panthers, a bear, and monkeys. The 36-year-old traveler is from the United Arab Emirates. The animals had been drugged and were headed for Dubai.

Thai officials said the man was waiting to check-in for his flight when undercover agents grabbed him.

'It's also worth noting this is a very sophisticated undercover operation by the Thai police to have followed him to the airport," said Steven Galster from Freeland Anti-Trafficking Group. "He didn't see what was happening. He didn't see it coming.''

Thai police found two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear, and two monkeys. All of the animals were about the size of puppies.

Authorities believe the man was part of a trafficking network and are searching for accomplices.

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