1,800 lizards seized in truck raid
Authorities in Thailand have seized 1,800 monitor lizards being smuggled on pick-up trucks to the capital Bangkok.
Customs officials said the Bengal monitor lizards were hidden in mesh bags and stashed in open containers behind boxes of fruit in three trucks. They were seized at a checkpoint in southern Thailand.
Customs department chief Prasong Poontaneat said he suspects the lizards were destined to be eaten. He said their meat sells for £4-£9 per pound in China, making them worth more than £36,400.
International trade in the reptiles is banned. In Thailand, illegal sale of wildlife carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of £793.