Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia has foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of bearded dragon lizards and tortoises into the country from neighbouring Thailand to be sold as pets, authorities said Monday.
Two Thais and one Malaysian were arrested as they drove an SUV with the animals hidden inside, according to local border security chief Syed Basri Syed Ali.
Authorities found 58 bearded dragons and eight African spurred tortoises.
Both animals are popular pets in Malaysia but it is illegal to bring them into the country without the correct permits.
If found guilty of breaking wildlife protection laws, the trio - who were arrested Thursday - could be jailed for up to 10 years, said Syed Basri.