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76 Pangolins intercepted in Prachuap Khiri Khan

The Thaiger & The Nation

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76 Pangolins intercepted in Prachuap Khiri Khan | The Thaiger
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by Piyarat Nildee

Police have seized 76 live pangolins with an estimated street value overseas around 10 million baht from a smuggler in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

45 year old Sompol Mekchai from Ratchaburi was stopped in Sam Roi Yot district early this morning after police suspected he was trying to evade their checkpoint on the Phetchkasem Highway.

Seeing his pickup suddenly swerve onto a canal-side road 300 metres from the blockade, officers chased him, pulled him over and searched the pickup.

The pangolins were bundled up in 18 mesh bags stashed in the cargo bed beneath planks of wood and other construction materials.

Police claim Sompol confessed to having smuggled live pangolins three times before. He says he was paid 8,000 baht each time. But, as usual, he was unable identify his employer, having received his orders by phone.

He told police that pickups, already carrying the animals, were always left at a designated location for him to use. This time he collected the truck in Muang Prachuap Khiri Khan and was heading for Pathum Thani,.

Sompol has been charged with possessing protected wild animals without a permit.

SOURCE: The Nation

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