Thai woman arrested for selling macaques via Facebook

photo via ตำรวจสอบสวนกลาง Facebook

Today, a Thai woman was arrested in Hat Yai district, Songkhla province, for selling protected wildlife via Facebook. Undercover police pretended to be interested in buying a macaque so they could arrest the woman this morning. One macaque, a basket and a bottle of milk were seized by police. The woman was buying macaques and reselling them for a higher price online, with no licence to possess wild animals.

The police were tipped off that 26 year old Natnicha (surname withheld) was selling macaques via a Facebook group called “Macaque Owner Lifestyle.” Natnicha posted a picture of a macaque in the Facebook group with the caption “Find a home for this little one.”

Police – under a fake Facebook account – pretended they were customers interested in buying the monkey. Natnicha agreed to sell them the macaque for ฿4,000 and meet them at a golf course in Hat Yai district to make the transaction.

Officers from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division and the Royal Thai Police met Natnicha this morning. Police seized the macaque, a basket, and a bottle of milk. When police asked Natnicha if she had a licence to own protected wildlife, she said no. Natnicha told police that she bought the macaque for ฿3,500 via the same Facebook group.

Police arrested Natnicha under suspicion of possessing protected wildlife without permission and on suspicion of trafficking protected wildlife, breaking Section 17 and Section 29 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019 respectively.

Natnicha was taken to Kho Hong Police Station for questioning. The macaque will be handed over to the relevant authorities.


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.