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BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai man was arrested and fined nearly $6,000 on Thursday at a checkpoint on the border with Laos for suspected smuggling of semen, a customs officer said.
Nithinon Srithaniyanan, 25, was traveling with a nitrogen tank containing six vials of what he said was human semen, said Nimit Saeng-ampai, chief customs officer at the Nong Khai checkpoint between northern Thailand and neighbouring Laos.
"During investigation, Nithinon said he was hired to carry semen to a clinic in Vientiane," Nimit told Reuters.
"He said it came from four clinics in Bangkok and he has done it 12 times before."
The Vientiane clinic was for people with infertility, Nimit said, but gave no further details.
Nithinon, who said his client had paid him 5,000 baht ($145) for each trip, was fined 200,000 baht ($5,817) for smuggling forbidden goods out of the kingdom and released, Nimit said.
The tank and vials have been sent for inspection to a hospital in Thailand's northeastern city of Khon Kaen, a Nong Khai public health officer said.
If the vials' contents are confirmed to be semen, Nithinon could face up to three years in prison for violating Thailand's surrogacy law. Test results are expected on Monday.
Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Clarence Fernandez