Two wildlife poachers arrested, 34 macaques bound for Laos freed, police say
Thirty-four long-tailed macaques were rescued from cages inside a home in Rayong province’s Klaeng district on Friday and two wildlife poachers were arrested, police said.
The two poachers used tranquillizer darts blown from plastic pipes to capture the macaques from the wild, police said.
The macaques were then sold to an agent in the Northeast who smuggled them across the Mekong into Laos, police said.
The two suspects were arrested after they arrived by truck at the Klaeng district residence on Friday. They had two macaques in the truck and another 32 were found in cages inside the residence.
District police and officials from the Khao Chi-on Non-Hunting Area said they knew the suspects – Thai national Panuwat Sribua-on, 54, and a 35-year-old Lao male identified as "Tor” – had been hunting macaques.
Police found 30 tranquillizer darts and four plastic pipes in the suspects’ truck.
The macaques were kept in 17 cages inside the residence.
They were taken to Khao Chi-on Non-Hunting Area.
Panuwat said he captured and sold the monkeys for 3,000 baht each to an agent in Nong Khai province. The monkeys were then smuggled into Laos, he added.
The agent in Nong Khai provided the tranquillizer darts and plastic pipes, Panuwat said.
The macaques were poached from a cave near Wat Khao Ha Yot in Chonburi's Bo Thong district.
The suspect said poverty drove him to repeatedly commit the crime.
Nakhonchai Khunnarong, a Move Forward Party MP candidate in Rayong, said the suspects used the residence in Klaeng district to keep the monkeys but had a separate home for themselves.