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Coral trafficker arrested

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Coral trafficker arrested | Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: A local sorng taew driver was arrested at 7 am today when police officers caught him loading boxes of protected coral valued at 100,000 baht onto a van bound for Surat Thani. Acting on a tip-off, officers arrived at the Montri Rd terminus where vans bound for Surat Thani gather, as Phuket native Weerayuth Taodaeng, 41, was loading boxes onto a van. When they asked to see what the boxes contained, Weerayuth said that there was nothing illegal inside. Ignoring Weerayuth’s claim, officers opened the boxes to discover them packed with pieces of protected species of coral. Sinthi Daengsakul, an officer of the Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office, who joined the arresting party, told the Gazette, “There were six boxes. Three boxes contained five types of live protected coral, and the other boxes were packed with dead protected coral.” K. Sinthi explained that all the coral seized was of types found on reefs off Phuket and nearby islands. Weerayuth, who regularly drives a sorng taew between Rawai and Phuket Town, was charged with attempting to sell protected coral. If convicted, he will face up to four years in jail or a fine of up to 40,000 baht, or both.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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