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Activists try to call off auction for cats confiscated in drug trafficking raid

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Activists try to call off auction for cats confiscated in drug trafficking raid | Thaiger
Photo by Thai PBS

With pedigree cats worth tens of thousands of baht up for auction by the Narcotics Control Board after being seized in a suspected drug network raid, animal rights activists in Thailand are calling on officials to suspend the auction.

The cats, 5 Scottish Folds and a Bengal, were seized last week along with 35 million baht in assets suspected of being linked to a major drug network in Rayong. Police suspect the cats were used to launder money. Scottish Folds can cost 30,000 baht to 60,000 baht while Bengals can cost 46,000 baht to 92,000 baht.

Auctioning off confiscated property is a common practice in law enforcement, but the plans to auction off the cats has drawn criticism from animal rights activists, particularly Thai Animal Guardians Association. The founder of the association says many are not happy that the cats are being treated like the other assets seized by officers.

When news of the confiscated cats first broke out, Thai Animal Guardians Association and the Voice Foundation offered to look after the cats. The association is now calling on the public to write letters to the chief of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, asking for the auction to be called off.

Since the cats are considered confiscated assets, the cats cannot be transferred without court approval, according to director of Narcotics Control Office Region 2, Pornthip Chaempong.

Police say the cats belong to the wife of a suspect who is currently in custody and she has been on the run for the past couple months. The cats are now being looked after by the suspect’s relatives, Pornthip says. If the relatives can prove that the cats were not purchased using money earned through the illicit drug trade, then the cats will not be auctioned off.

“The ONCB has given the relatives 15 days to provide information about the origin of the six cats and they will be able to take them over permanently if officials find that the cats were not acquired under criminal dealings.”

The auction date and starting price for the cats will be set next month. Pornthip says the 6 cats will be auctioned off together.

“ONCB wants to sell them as one lot, so they are not separated.”

Posted by โรเจอร์ โลหนันทน์ on Monday, March 22, 2021

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Reuters

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Michael Hunter

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 10:20 am

    I see nothing wrong with the auctioning of the cats.

    Nothing abusive or inhumane about it.

    If given away to a shelter, or to a poor people, chances are that the cats will be indoor/outdoor felines and then be subject to attacks from street cats and dogs.

    People with money to buy the cats is more likely to properly care for them.

    Here in Thailand… all too common for families to get cute puppy or kitten for children and then soon the novelty wears off and they release the animals on the street to freely roam and procreate without control.

  2. Avatar

    Felix the Cat

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Five, angry SCOTTISH FOLDS beat the living crap out of one, slick mean BENGAL, stating “How Dare You Cost more than Us, look at those dirty spots!”
    Agents in charge of the case stated, “If only we had separated them!” As everyone knows, every home can only have one happy pussy!

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    I really fancy that cat in the cardboard box.
    That fur would make a nice collar for my lady friend’s coat.

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Crime

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

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Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger

Immigration police arrested a French man who was allegedly involved in a crime network who allegedly smuggled cannabis, and arrested 3 other foreigners on overstay charges. Police say the crime network sold cannabis to foreigners living in tourist cities in Thailand.

Officers say they suspect there are more people involved in the alleged smuggling operation on the Eastern seaboard, which includes Chon Buri and Rayong. Police are now launching an investigation.

Police were tipped off earlier this year about an alleged French gang selling cannabis to tourists. Apparently, the drug suspects would rent rooms to store the cannabis and frequently change locations. Foreigners had rented a room off a soi in Bangkok, but the manager noticed they were acting suspicious. No one appeared to actually be living in the room and people would stop by the room for less than an hour, the manager told police.

Police arrested a man who was stopping by the room. Officers say the 28 year old, identified as Samy, had a suitcase filled with dried cannabis and scales. He faces charges for possession and distribution of a Category 5 narcotic.

The police went to the man’s apartment in the Charoen Nakhon area and arrested 2 French nationals, ages 27 and 28, and a 29 year old woman from the UK for overstaying their visas. Police say they had thrown cannabis and smoking equipment out the window before officers entered the room.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts | Thaiger
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Thailand is hoping its newest anti-human trafficking report will earn an upgrade from the US from Tier 2 to Tier 1. The report was submitted to the Washington’s Trafficking in Persons Report. Deputy government spokeswoman, Rachada Dhnadirek, said the government is ready to be upgraded after remaining on Tier 2 for 3 years in a row. Those nations who fall on the Tier 2, are deemed to not be fully complying with the minimum standards set out in the US’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Those on the Tier 2, however, are supposed to be making efforts to comply with the minimum standards.

Before 2018, Thailand was placed in Tier 3, which is for nations who don’t fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making efforts to do so. Then, Thailand was upgraded to Tier 2 after making progress compared to the previous year.

Rachada says Thailand submitted the 2020 TIP Report on February 2 and a report on progress in its anti-human trafficking operations from January to March of this year to the US embassy on April 3. The data includes the number of arrests and punishments for human-trafficking offences. Thailand also has created a new plan, making it the first in Asia to introduce such a plan. That plan is called the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.

Rachada says now Thailand is processing human trafficking cases more quickly by shortening the investigation time to 70 days as of last year. In 2015, the investigation time was 118 days. She says the country has also set up centres to help LGBT human-trafficking victims as well as helping migrant workers with work-related issues.

Thailand has also introduced the PROTECT-U app for smartphones in which human-trafficking victims can access protection and launch complaints in 7 different languages. The app was developed by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed | Thaiger
Phuket Police Station / Google Maps

A 25 year old Phuket man who was allegedly beaten and shot by an off-duty, drunken police officer, will never walk again as he remains paralysed in the hospital. The news, according to doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital, comes after Aroon Thongplab, was shot from a close range, with the bullet hitting his spine.

The man was a noodle vendor and was collecting a bowl from a customer on Bangla Road when he was allegedly shot by Pornthep Channarong of the Phuket Provincial Police at around 6am. Doctors told his wife about his prognosis after he woke up from a coma and underwent surgery to increase his prospects of being able to sit up. His wife, who is only known by her surname as Kulthida, told The Phuket News that she received news that he would never walk again.

“He cannot feel or move the lower part from his waist. Doctors just gave him spine surgery last week, so that he can sit. However, the doctors cannot assure that the surgery will work. We have to wait to see if his recovery goes well along with physiotherapy.”

Pornthep was discharged from the Royal Thai Police less than a day after he allegedly shot the noodle vendor. Now, he is facing charges of attempted murder, firing a weapon in a public area, and carrying a firearm in a public area without a necessary reason. But those charges have come slowly, according to Kulthida.

“I have already asked Patong Police, and they told me that at this stage the report to file (with the public prosecutor) is about 90% complete. I am also waiting for a notice from the court. Today, officers from Region 8 Police came to the hospital to question Aroon, but he has not been able to speak… I asked them about the bail conditions, and they told me that the suspect is still in jail.”

The Phuket Provincial Court is allowing Pornthep to go out on bail, despite the Royal Thai Police asking the court to keep in locked up.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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