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Three sentenced to 4 years in jail for attempted rhino horn smuggling

Nov 20. 2018
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By Kesinee Tangkhieo
The Nation

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Samut Prakan Provincial Court on Tuesday handed down sentences of four years’ imprisonment to former Saraburi public prosecutor Pol Major Worapas Boonsri and two female civilians over their attempt to smuggle 21 rhino horns worth Bt49.4 million into the country through Suvarnabhumi Airport on March 10 last year.

The three were granted temporary release on bail of Bt200,000 each, pending their fight against the ruling at the Appeals Court level.

Thitirat Ara-ei, Kansinee Anutranusart and Worapas were found guilty of related charges, including colluding to bring controlled or prohibited items into the country by avoiding customs procedure, and bringing into Thailand an endangered wildlife carcass without permission.

They were each sentenced to four years in jail, without suspension.

A source at the Office of the Attorney General said that, about a week after the exposure of Worapas’s then-alleged link to rhino-horn smuggling, the office had set up a fact-finding committee, led by inspector-general Pranot Phongphaew, to investigate the case. 

The committee later submitted its findings that there were some grounds to the accusation and that a panel to consider Worapas’s disciplinary punishment should be set up. 

The disciplinary probe panel then suspended him from service until the criminal-court case was complete, the source said.

Hence, following Tuesday’s court verdict, the panel might get a copy of the ruling for its consideration of his disciplinary punishment, the source added.

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