Israeli arrested in Phuket for illegal possession of 3 macaques

Photo via MGR Online and SiamRath

Police acted on a tip-off arresting an Israeli businessman at his home in Phuket yesterday for his illegal possession of three pig-tailed macaques.

Officers from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, also known as Greencop, received information that a foreign business operator in the Patong neighbourhood of Phuket was keeping protected monkeys at his residence in the Katu district.

The man was reportedly seen riding a motorcycle with a monkey on a road in the Katu district on April 23. Officers located his residence, and locals confirmed hearing monkey sounds coming from the property.

Officers sought a search warrant from the court and raided the residence yesterday. The owner of the house was later identified as the 61 year old Israeli man named Zuri Yozee. Yozee reportedly operated businesses in Phuket for over a decade and was well-known among business operators in the province.

Yozee was present during the search and directed officers to a large cage housing three pig-tailed macaques. The animals appeared exhausted and unhealthy, with the youngest being only four months old.

Yozee admitted to keeping the monkeys without a permit and claimed to be unaware that pig-tailed macaques are protected under Thai law. The origin of the monkeys remains unknown.

Yozee faces charges under Section 17 of the Wild Animal Preservation and Protection Act for possessing protected wildlife without permission. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 500,000 baht.

The three monkeys were taken to Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary for treatment and will be relocated to the Phang Nga Wildlife Sanctuary once their health improves.

This case follows a February incident in Phuket where a Chinese woman was arrested for showcasing a lion cub at a coffee shop. Police discovered the woman was keeping the cub in her hotel room.

The Chinese woman confessed to buying the lion cub in Bangkok for 250,000 baht without a permit. Her actions could result in up to six months in prison, a fine of up to 50,000 baht, or both for possessing and transferring a controlled animal without permission.

Crime NewsPhuket NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

Related Articles