Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

WEIRD WORLD; Trafficker Boards Bus with Luggage Packed with Reptiles

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

WEIRD WORLD; Trafficker Boards Bus with Luggage Packed with Reptiles

Article excerpt

Passengers on a bus in Argentina got an unwelcome surprise when police found more than 600 snakes and other reptiles packed in the luggage compartment.

Acting on a tip-off, police intercepted the bus in a northern province bound for Buenos Aires, asked to see passengers' documents, then began poking into their bags.

C[pounds sterling]A passenger came onboard with 40 snakes, plus what he had in the boxesC[yen] in the bus luggage hold, said ranger Daniel Chersich, warden of Santa Fe province.

Police C[pounds sterling]were terrified of opening the bags,C[yen] Chersich, who was investigating a wildlife trafficking network and joined in the operation, told the daily Clarin.

With good reason.

The trafficker had loaded them with 444 boas, vipers and other snakes; 186 endangered tortoises; 40 lizards, and an armadillo.

The smuggler, who was arrested, boarded the bus in Santiago del Estero, where he had spent three months trapping various species in the bush with the intent of selling them, Chersich said. Co AFP

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn't seem to be letting his legal woes get him down, joking to two young blondes he'd like to invite them to his famed C[pounds sterling]bunga bungaC[yen] parties.

Berlusconi is on trial on charges that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl at some of the parties then tried to use his influence to cover it up. He and the girl both deny they had sex.

The 74-year-old was handing out prizes to a dozen promising young college graduates in the courtyard of his Rome offices when he congratulated two young women for their accomplishments.

C[pounds sterling]Congratulations, you are so great. I'm thinking of inviting you to Cybunga bunga',C[yen] Berlusconi quipped, as his seemingly exasperated youth minister Georgia Meloni looked away.

Berlusconi didn't stop, telling a third recipient Co a male Co he was cute enough to come along as well.

The billionaire media mogul-turned politician is an unapologetic jokester who frequently explains away off-colour gaffes as harmless jokes. …

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