KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian authorities seized 814 tortoises and 160 king cobras as they were being smuggled out of the country on its northern border, according to a report Sunday.
Customs officials told state news agency Bernama the wildlife was found in the back of a truck in northern Perlis state as it was clearing border formalities before entering Thailand.
State customs director Mohammad Isa Endot said the reptiles were found under 2,300 kilos of garlic used to help disguise the smell of the illicit cargo.
He said the truck driver, a Thai national, was detained after failing to produce any documents for the export of the wildlife, Bernama reported.
Mohammad Isa said the tortoises and snakes had been handed over to the Wildlife and National Parks Department.
Wildlife is often smuggled out of Malaysia and into kitchens abroad.
Last month, authorities seized the butchered remains of dozens of civet cats, long-tailed monkeys and wild boar destined for sale in neighboring countries.