Six arrests have been made in connection with the shocking story last month of caves raided in Phatthalung where 1 million swiftlets were killed and their valuable birds’ nest plundered. Swiftlets, unlike other birds, make their nests entirely out of their own saliva which has been prized, especially in Asian culture, as a healing delicacy.
Authorities estimated a 5 billion baht loss over the death of nearly 1 million swiftlet birds and the destruction and theft of their valuable nests. The Department of Special Investigation was called in to get to the bottom of the plundering of caves where the Siamnest company have exclusive authority to collect nest and maintain the caves.
Now the Phatthalung Provincial Court has issued arrest warrants today for 4 civilian suspects as well as 2 suspects that are territorial defence volunteers. The six people will face charges for the death of the swiftlets as well as the theft of the prized nests.
They are accused of collecting the bird’s nest on the islands without permission in the area exclusively controlled by Siamnest. They will also face additional charges as swiftlets are a protected species, so threatening their habitat and lives may carry harsher penalties.
Officials say they are still collecting evidence and intend to request arrest warrants for 7 other people suspected of also stealing the swiftlets bird’s nest on Koh Ha and Koh Si islands.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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