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Phuket Gazette: Exotic wildlife worth Bt200m found

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Exotic wildlife worth Bt200m found

PHUKET (The Nation): Thai police yesterday searched the Saraburi home of a former Chatuchak Market animal vendor and found 300 to 400 caged animals with an estimated black market value of 200 million baht.

Pol Maj Gen Norasak Hemnithi, chief of the Crime Suppression Division’s Natural Resources and Environmental Central Investigation Bureau, said the search followed the February 4 arrest of wildlife trader Thananuwat “Ord Bang Kluay” Boonpherm in Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi.

Mr Thananuwat pointed authorities to a home registered to Si Sa Ket native Yutthasak Sutthinon, 28.

Located on an isolated 100-rai plot some 20 kilometers off the Mitraparp Highway, the compound was surrounded by barbed wired, guarded by attack dogs and equipped with 30 security cameras, all linked via internet to a monitoring station in Bangkok.

Inside police found 300 to 400 animals of 51 species including five tigers, 13 white lions, 3 pumas, and 2 red pandas.

As Mr Yutthasak couldn’t show permits to keep the animals, officials put the property under armed guard and prohibited any animal transport pending further investigation. Mr Yutthasak was initially charged with illegal operation of a zoo and possession of protected species without permission.

Mr Yutthasak said he traded animals at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok before opening the private zoo. He didn’t hire full-time veterinarians to care for the animals, but hired them on case-by-case basis, he said.

The required permits were with his father Thanajak Sutthinon, who would present them to police later, he said.

Mr Yutthasak also claimed the rare animals — including red pandas, pumas and white lions — were bought from traders in Africa, Canada and South America.

Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said most of the animals were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and national wildlife protection laws. These included Tibetan red pandas, now extinct in the wild in that country, and 65 Marmoset monkeys, which can fetch 100,000 baht per pair on the black market.

Mr Theerapat said the compound was raided back in 2003, when officials found 100 protected animals held without permission.

The court fined the owner and gave him a suspended jail term, which has already expired. It would take three days to check wildlife papers, officials said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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