Thursday, December 05, 2019

Two arrested for suspected online trading in protected wildlife

Jul 12. 2017
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By Khanathit Srihirandej
The Nation

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Two suspects have been arrested in Bangkok over alleged links to online trade in wildlife animals from a southern forest as well as a barred eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus) smuggled from Indonesia.

The National Parks Department's new special taskforce, Yiaw Dong, had investigated the online activities and joined force with the natural resources and environmental crime suppression police as well as those from the metropolitan bureau.

Metropolitan Police deputy chief Pol Maj-General Suthee Netkanthee said that after inspection of an online shop selling wildelife, police went to arrest a female suspect, Wachirakorn Moocharoen, 21, at a house in Ramkhanhaeng Soi 190 in Min Buri district where they allegedly found eight small-clawed otters, two slow lorises, and two spotted owlets. The male suspect, Phanom Chum-anong, 31, was arrested at a house in Rama II Soi 20 in Chom Thong district. He allegedly was in possession of a barred eagle-owl, one slow loris, one oriental pied hornbill, and one hill myna.

Investigation 4 Superintendent Pol Colonel Theerachai Chamnanmor said these animals’ habitat is in a deep forest along the southern border and they were smuggled via bus to Bangkok where the animals would be sold at various prices. He said a slow loris could fetch Bt2,500 while a hornbill could fetch Bt7,500, and a barred eagle-owl – the only one in Thailand – could fetch Bt11,000.

The duo were charged under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 1991 for having protected wildlife in their possession without permission, while the animals were passed on to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Suthee warned that members of the public who trade in wildlife or rear protected animals without permission could face up to four years in prison and /or up to Bt40,000 in fine. He urged people who spotted such violation of the law to alert police or the park authority via the hotline 1362.

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