Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s finance police seized a rare, 3-meter (9.8-foot) albino python that a group of Rome drug dealers used to guard their stash of cocaine and intimidate customers who owed them money.
The dangerous python was seated on top of 200 grams of cocaine, which has a street value of up to 50,000 euros ($65,340), Lieutenant Luca Gelormino, who took part into the operation, said in a phone interview.
When we found it, we got scared and called a team of experts for help.
Twelve people were arrested in the operation, he said.
Wiretapping and surveillance videos show that some customers got very scared after going to pick up the cocaine, Gelormino added.
The snake was used to threaten them to pay their debts, he said.
The snake was transferred to the Rome zoo, police said.
August 11, 2010
By Lorenzo Totaro
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Italian Police Find Rare Python Guarding Cocaine Stash in Rome