Frozen tiger parts among Bangkok wildlife haul
Thai police on Wednesday discovered the frozen body parts of several tigers and other big cats thought to be destined for buyers in Vietnam and China in a raid on a suburban Bangkok house.
Thursday 17 May 2012, 08:46AM
Two men, one Thai and one Vietnamese, were arrested after police found a freezer containing the parts of at least three tigers, one panther and a wild cat.
"From our initial interrogation, they said they planned to send the animal parts to a Vietnamese buyer waiting in Laos, but the final destinations are in Vietnam and China," said Police Colonel Apichart Sirisith, Crime Suppression Deputy Commander.
The two suspects face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges relating to the illegal possession of wildlife.
Thailand, a hub of international smuggling, is one of just 13 countries which host tiger populations. Worldwide, tiger numbers are estimated to have fallen to only 3,200 from approximately 100,000 a century ago.
In March Thai authorities seized more than 200 live animals, including tigers and lions among other rare species, in a raid on an illegal wildlife supplier.
Police said that operation was part of a global network importing protected animals from countries in Africa and elsewhere and breeding them for illegal sale.
Last month Thai police officers caught four men in the act of chopping up a tiger in a Bangkok house. Elephant, zebra, wildebeest and lion remains were also found at the suburban property.