Park rangers on patrol discovered two tiger carcasses being prepared for grilling at a campsite in the park on January 10. The suspects fled into the forest. The patrol also found two tiger pelts hung out to dry, four weapons and 29 other personal items at the campsite.
On Thursday the four men turned themselves in at Thong Pha Phum police station. Investigators said Kukeu Yindee (37), Johaeng Phanarak (38), Suphachai Jaroensub (34), Ratchanon Jaroensub (30) had confessed to killing the endangered big cats. All the suspects are residents of Pilok subdistrict in Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum. Suphachai and Ratchanon are Thai nationals and brothers while Kukeu and Johaeng are members of a local hilltribe.
The four said they were cow herders and that 20 of their cows had been killed by tigers in the past two months. They decided to set up camp in the forest and use cow carcasses as bait to lure the tigers. They confessed to then shooting the big cats with shotguns borrowed from local civil defence volunteer staff.
On Friday a fifth suspect, 66-year-old cow herder So-Eh (no last name), turned himself in at the police station. He told police that he spent one night with the gang at the campsite but returned home the next day and did not participate in the poaching operation.
Police collected DNA samples from the five suspects and will compare them with evidence gathered from the campsite to determine whether to prosecute the suspects.
Published : January 14, 2022
By : THE NATION