“Thank you for reporting this to us. I will send my staff to check Kata Beach to find them,” said Mr Piyawat.
“We actually often inspect the beaches, especially Kata Beach. We caught two loris touts there last month and another one just about a week ago,” he added.
“The difficulty is they know what our vehicles look like, and what we look like, so sometimes they hide and don’t come out while we are there,” he said.
“I will let you know if we have success this time,” he added.
Regarding the spottings of iguanas on Surin Beach by The Phuket News, Mr Piyawat said, “Iguanas are an animal imported from abroad, they are not Thai wildlife, so they aren’t protected by Thai law.”
Mr Piyawat also welcomed anyone to report sightings of illegal possession and mistreatment of wild animals directly to him on 089-873-7749.
“You can report these sightings to me directly. I speak basic English, if you are a foreigner, please speak simply and say what animal you saw, where, and when, or other important details,” he added.
He explained that a previous telephone number provided to The Phuket News in March this year, 073-311-998, (see story here) is of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Conservation Centre’s study division.
“It is within the same centre, but another division, so some officials might not know details about this,” he said.
“You can still call that number, but if you do, you should ask for the head of the center. So you might as well call me directly, at 089-873-7749.”