ZHEJIANG - A man was detained by police at a train station in Zhejiang in the east of China on Sunday (Oct 1), after attempting to board a train with a suitcase of poisonous snakes, local media reported.
According to the Qianjiang Evening News on Monday (Oct 2), station security became suspicious of the man in his 50s, after noticing a writhing mass in his bag as it passed through the scanner.
Upon closer inspection of the bag, officials found 50 live snakes inside, wrapped in a towel.
The man said he bought the 4kg of pit vipers in Zhejiang province, as he wanted to make snake wine and his friend had informed him that the snakes were cheaper in the region.
Snake wine is a popular remedy for various health problems, such as hair loss and leprosy, and is also believed to be an aphrodisiac.
While the man was brought in for questioning, the snakes were seized and passed to experts, who confirmed that they were from the wild and not from farms.
Trading in wild snakes is illegal in China, reported Qianjiang Evening News.
Snake wine is made by soaking the animals in strong alcohol, such as rice wine, for several months.