BANGKOK (AP) - 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 Col. Supakorn Khamsingnok said Saturday the driver told police he was paid 15,000 baht ($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 40,000 baht ($1,300) fine on wildlife smuggling-related charges.