Local residents alerted volunteer police officers late Monday night (March 23) after they saw three men transporting bags from a boat to a pick-up truck.
When a group of police officers arrived at the site, the three men immediately fled the scene, police say.
The officers then inspected the pick-up truck and found at least 1,800 kilograms of corals stuffed into 60 sacks.
Satit Khunwatcharakit, 55, later met with police and identified himself as the owner of the vehicle, but insisted that he had no knowledge of the smuggling. According to Satit, a man named "Kerd" was borrowing the pick-up truck at the time.
However, police detained Satit and charged him with possessing corals without permission. Corals are considered a protected animal under Thai laws and illegal possession is punishable by up one year in prison and a B20,000 fine.
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