Man arrested for allegedly smuggling over 100 wild monkeys
The Crime Suppression Division on Thursday arrested a 25-year-old man for transporting 102 wild monkeys hidden in a pickup truck, 18 of whom died later in the day.
The accused, Phanuphong (last name withheld), was intercepted at the Krong Somboon intersection in the Sri Mahaphot district of Prachinburi province.
Police acted on an intelligence that a smuggling ring would be transporting wild animals on the Sa Kaeo–Khao Hin Son Road that connects the 304 Industrial Estate to Sri Mahaphot district.
Officials waved down the suspect’s vehicle which had a windowless canopy. They reportedly found 102 monkeys locked in several plastic boxes.
Officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation were contacted to inspect the animals. They found the wild monkeys suffering from exhaustion due to the cramped space, without proper ventilation, while some of them also had wounds on their bodies.
The animals were taken to Nakhon Nayok Wildlife Sanctuary Office for treatment. The office posted on Facebook on Thursday night that 18 monkeys had died and four were in critical condition.
Phanuphong reportedly confessed that he was hired to transport the monkeys from Phichit to Sa Kaew province by an agency that procures wild animals as ingredients for exotic food at restaurants in foreign countries.
He said he had done it three times and was paid THB3,000 each time.
Police charged Phanuphong with violating the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act and are tracking down the agency behind this operation.