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Slow loris touts return to Phuket beaches

PHUKET: Karon Police are on the lookout for up to four men plying the sands of Kata Beach to charge tourists to have their photos taken with a slow loris.

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By The Phuket News

Monday 18 July 2016, 10:03AM


Two photo touts each with a slow loris were seen on Kata Beach last Thursday (July 14).

Two photo touts each with a slow loris were seen on Kata Beach last Thursday (July 14).

The news follows one beach-goer providing photos of two photo touts each with a slow loris on Kata Beach last Thursday (July 14).

“In the last few days I’ve seen four different men with slow loris on Kata Beach. One of the touts was pretty aggressive when he realised I wasn’t there to pay him,” the beach-goer told The Phuket News.

“I didn’t know that loris touts had returned to the beach,” Lt Col Chawalit Niamwadee, Inspector of Karon Police said in response.

“We arrested one tout a few weeks ago, and I will organise a team of non-uniform officers to investigate this,” he added.

Piyawat Sukon, who as Chief of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Office in Thalang is responsible for the welfare of wildlife animals in Phuket and neighbouring provinces, said his office would also look into the report.

“Just two weeks ago we arrested a loris tout in the Karon area with the assistance of the Karon Police,” he told The Phuket News.

“We have got rid of a lot of loris touts at Patong Beach, but obviously there are still some in Karon. I will send my officials to investigate.” he said.

The exploitation of the slow loris, a nocturnal creature native to the area, has proved difficult to eradicate in Phuket as many tourists find the animal cute and often have no idea that possession of a loris without a permit is illegal, as is using the animal as a photo opportunity to make money.

International artist Rihanna in 2013 was blasted on the internet for having her photo taken with a slow loris (see story here), while many tourists trying to “save” lorises by buying them from touts at exorbitant prices and returning them to wildlife officials have been censured of providing incentive to touts to continue their trade (see story here.)

 

 

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Fritz Pinguin | 21 July 2016 - 10:39:24

And the lizards are back, seen last night in Karon. The same guy who has been touring the restaurants for years now - just with short intermissions. The poor creature was a smaller one than last time, I guess his predecessor died already.

Joe12 | 20 July 2016 - 20:46:04

Christy...as usual you have no idea. Basically criminal and traffic is all Police are constitutionally entrusted to enforce. The welfare of wildlife animals fits into neither. That's for other departments.  

Kurt | 20 July 2016 - 18:56:08

Skip, what Patong RTP don't like to see, they will not see.
Remember that drug selling pot, straight behind Patong police station? ( Thai press)
The Patong police didn't know about it. ( laugh)
Incompetents or corruption. One of the 2 is smiling to you. Do your pick.
Safety zones?  Also a tourist lip service thing.
Once in a while the Patong police prima donnas parade in evening Bangl...

skip | 20 July 2016 - 15:33:55

i guess they didnt see the elephant on patong beach behind the police box july 2nd to july 9th ( have photos ).same goes for the man with the iguana behind the police box.and certainly not the parasailors ripping through the waters after dark ( after the official warning ) just waiting to chop up some chinese swimmers.same goes for the CCTV cameras on bangla rd  being inoperable since december 201...

Christy Sweet | 20 July 2016 - 07:00:36

Joe12, It certainly is a police responsibility to enforce the laws-ideally all laws, all the time- not worry about their complexion or facilitate a reefer extortion.

Kurt | 19 July 2016 - 18:04:14

I agree with you, Ed Sanders.
Just curious now how Joe12 and Swerv will comment on your comment.

Joe12 | 19 July 2016 - 16:10:37

Do you really expect Police to look out for endangered wildlife? It's not their job.

Nasa12 | 19 July 2016 - 08:13:25

100% agree whit you Kurt.

Concerned | 19 July 2016 - 06:37:09

Give them an ATV and the will be happy to patrol the beaches - just kidding.  

Ed Sanders | 18 July 2016 - 21:24:40

If Lt Col Chawalit didn't know there were loris touts combing the sands, he should be reassigned to a beach station where he can watch them come and go all day like the rest of us.  This is a good indicator as to how useless these police are...just sitting on their asses.  There is no policing...none...

Kurt | 18 July 2016 - 18:15:51

Nasa12,  I also questioned about the Phuket beach bicycle police a short while ago.
It was just a 'introduction show', a form of thai touristic media lip service',like a car company promotes a new car with a nice looking lady on top of it.

The assigned bicycle police officers were very unhappy, they felt they got to dark skinned in that assignment.
( I was told by one of them)
I ...

Nasa12 | 18 July 2016 - 11:05:38

Where are bicycle police? that would be so good as municipality and Police in Karon/Kata tell us in News. I have seen them one time and it was on one picture in the newspaper. And I'm at Kata and Karon each day view it is not raining of course.

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