Nakhon Sawan –
A 40-year-old Thai man was arrested in the Phayuha Khiri district of Nakhon Sawan province today, September 1st, for allegedly illegally capturing living monkeys for sale and exports.
Phithak Thongsuk and a friend escaped an original attempt at arrest yesterday, August 31st, 2021 after the two were caught while reportedly capturing monkeys at the Samrong Temple. The suspects were seen, according to witnesses at the temple, shooting blow-pipe darts with anesthesia drugs at the animals.
About six monkeys were found in a blue net bag in a pickup truck registered to Mr. Thongsuk and were confiscated while a further investigation continued and eventually led to today’s arrest.
According to Phithak’s statement, he would catch some wild monkeys from the temple and sell them in the Phichit province for 1,000-1,500 baht each. The perfect size was about 1-3 kilograms and they must not be marked by the authorities to avoid an investigation and arrest. Phithak claimed he did not know exactly where the monkeys would be taken to or the exact names of the people that he sold them to. He also claimed to not know the name or contact information of the friend reportedly seen with him yesterday at the Samrong Temple.
Thanit Nooyim, director of the Office of Conservation Area Administration (Area 12), told reporters that the officials had been closely monitoring similar cases in the country after there were smuggling networks that would capture and buy local monkeys for sale abroad.
Initially, the 40-year-old detainee was charged for hunting, possessing, and trading protected wildlife without permission under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, 2019. Meanwhile, the animals will be transferred for health examinations at a local hospital before being released back to nature.
Photo Courtesy: Nation TV
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