Highway police stopped a suspicious-looking pickup truck at a checkpoint on Mittraphap Road in Nam Phong district.
A search revealed five tiger cubs in fertiliser sacks as well as 312 water monitors, 174 turtles, and 11 softshell turtles in plastic boxes. They were found in the back of the vehicle covered with a black plastic sheet.
Wisanu Netsawang, 36, and Chakraphan Khamkhotesoon, 22, were arrested and charged with illegal possession of protected animals.
Mr Wisanu allegedly admitted he was paid 20,000 baht by Thai and Chinese businessmen to deliver the animals from Ayutthaya to Bung Kan, where they were to be smuggled into Laos before being sent on to China.