Illegal tiger cub trafficking operation thwarted in Bueng Kan

Image courtesy of Khaosod

The authorities in Thailand yesterday carried out a sting operation in Bueng Kan, aimed at thwarting an illegal wildlife trafficking scheme involving a tiger cub. The sellers were seeking to profit 300,000 baht (US$8,200) from the illicit sale.

Police Major General Watcharin Poosit, Commander of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NED), directed officers to apprehend a 34 year old Vietnamese man, Ho The Luc, alongside his assailant, 42 year old Thai woman, Sawitree.

The investigation leading to the arrest was prompted by intelligence provided by the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), implicating Ho in international wildlife trafficking across Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

It was reported that Ho, who was believed to be hiding in Laos, was engaged in sales of wildlife, including a tiger cub, through secretive online channels.

To intercept the illegal activity, authorities orchestrated a sting operation, ultimately culminating in the apprehension of the suspects in Bueng Kan province.

The sting operation saw the two suspects handing over the tiger cub in a plastic basket to an undercover agent in a pre-arranged meeting. The authorities quickly revealed their identities and seized the cub, alongside two mobile phones.

In his statement to investigators, Ho admitted to orchestrating the sale of the tiger cub, alleging that it was sourced from a breeding facility in Vietnam.

However, Sawitree denied any involvement in wildlife trafficking, asserting ignorance regarding the contents of the crate she was carrying.

According to her account, the crate, containing the tiger cub, was entrusted to her by an acquaintance named Ton from Laos for delivery to a customer.

Despite their claims of limited knowledge, authorities discovered that both individuals stood to profit from the illicit transaction. Consequently, they were transferred to NED investigators and charged with joint possession of protected wildlife without authorisation.

Tigers are recognised as a protected species under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act of 2019 and are listed on Appendix I of the CITES Controlled Species List.

The trafficking of tigers is strictly prohibited due to their endangered status, with offenders facing severe penalties including a maximum prison term of 10 years, a fine of up to 1 million baht, or both, reported Khaosod.

Crime NewsThailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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