Thai woman arrested for trafficking protected rat snakes

Photo courtesy of Pattaya Mail

In a covert operation, police apprehended a 45 year old Thai woman at her residence in Phichit, where a trove of Indo-Chinese Rat Snakes was stashed away.

Seven sacks brimming with the slithery reptiles, weighing 34.26 kilogrammes, were confiscated alongside four sacks containing snake carcasses, tallying 5 kilogrammes, concealed in a freezer. Two mobile phones linked to the clandestine snake trade were also seized.

Confessing to her deeds, Chanphen Rerngjit revealed a grim tale of purchasing these protected creatures from locals, paying a mere 170 baht per kilogramme, and then turning a profit by selling them for 200 to 300 baht per kilogramme. Shockingly, the carcasses fetched even lower prices.

Investigations uncovered a lucrative snake trading enterprise, with each transaction raking in no less than 100,000 baht. The nefarious network even extended its tentacles across borders, facilitating snake exports to neighbouring countries.

Moreover, authorities stumbled upon a chilling revelation of a wider smuggling ring, involving a seasonal rotation of various wildlife species, from monkeys to cobras. The Indo-Chinese Rat Snakes, protected since 2003, are vital for maintaining ecological balance by curbing rodent populations without posing a threat to humans, reported Pattaya Mail.

However, the illegal trade disrupts this harmony, leading to increased reliance on harmful pesticides. The law is clear; possessing protected wildlife can land offenders up to five years in prison or fines reaching 500,000 baht. For traders, the stakes are even higher, with penalties including up to 10 years behind bars, fines up to 1,000,000 baht, or both.

In related news, in an episode that shook Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Tuesday, March 5, a remarkable seizure of 87 wild animals was carried out. The operation was a joint effort by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Customs Office, and other pertinent authorities.

This intervention unfolded when airport security personnel caught sight of these creatures, secreted away within eight pieces of luggage belonging to six Indian tourists en route to Mumbai, India.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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