A venomous venture voided

A Los Angeles man has been arrested after federal prosecutors said he arranged to smuggle into the US three live, highly venomous king cobra snakes hidden in potato chip canisters. Rodrigo Franco, 34, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with illegall
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Los Angeles man has been arrested after federal prosecutors said he arranged to smuggle into the US three live, highly venomous king cobra snakes hidden in potato chip canisters. Rodrigo Franco, 34, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with illegally importing merchandise into the US. Federal prosecutors said the parcel holding the 60cm-long king cobras came from Hong Kong. Three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles were also found in the package. Franco admitted that he had received a total of 20 king cobras in two prior shipments, but that all of those snakes had died in transit. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. According to the National Geographic website, the king cobra is the longest venomous snake, reaching up to 5.5m in length.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'A venomous venture voided'. Print Edition | Subscribe