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Phuket bus driver tip-off leads to marine life raid

Phuket bus driver tip-off leads to marine life raid

PHUKET: A tip-off from a driver to police asking them to stop and search his own bus heading from Phuket to Bangkok led to the seizure of several fish and protected species of marine wildlife, including tropical fish and hermit crabs.

marinenatural-resourcesenvironmentanimalscrimepolice
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 6 January 2017, 06:02PM


Police are tracking down who sent the boxes in order to press charges. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Police are tracking down who sent the boxes in order to press charges. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Tha Chatchai Police led by Col Prawit Sutthiruangarun and Lt Col Thaweesak Kampeera stopped and searched the bus at the Tha Chachai Checkpoint at 10:30pm last night (Jan 5).

Joining them were Suchart Rattanaruangsri, Director of the Preservation of Marine Life Section of the Marine and Coastal Resources Phuket office, and his counterpart Somnuek Boonyai, head of the Preservation of Marine Life Section of the Marine and Coastal Resources Phang Nga office.

The search party found two large foam boxes in the bus luggage compartment.

Inside the boxes were 32 marine life animals packed in plastic bags, nine tropical fish, three shrimp, and a range of other marine animals, including shrimps, hermit crabs and shells.

“We are now trying to track down who sent the boxes. They will face legal action,” confirmed Col Prawit.

Dan About Thailand

Mr Suchart noted that the animals seized provided evidence of contravention of the Wildlife Animal Preservation and Protection Act.

He estimated the value of the marine life cargo as “from B10,000 anywhere up to B50,000.”

“We are working with the Tha Chatchai Police in tracking down the offenders and they will face legal action,” he also warned.

The marine animals seized were taken to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre at Cape Panwa.

“They are to be released back into their natural habitats,” he said.

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