JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Something squirmed suspiciously inside 54 boxes being run through the X-ray machine at Jakarta's international airport: 1,020 cobras.

Not that the live _ and legal _ eels listed on documents accompanying the boxes wouldn't have wriggled a bit. But Lukas Tonga, head of the airport's animal quarantine center, told The Jakarta Post that officers questioned the contents because they were more active than usual.

Police said the cobras were being smuggled to China, where the meat and skin of the prized snakes fetch high prices. They arrested the man handling the cargo's documents; the snakes were taken to a Jakarta zoo for temporary care.

Eels, a popular menu item in parts of Asia, can be shipped, but cobras are protected in Indonesia and their export is forbidden. Smugglers face up to five years in prison and $7,700 fines.