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Man arrested for selling corals at Phuket market

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PHUKET: Police last night arrested a market trader for selling pieces of dead coral as ornaments fitted to leather bands at the popular Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town.

Officers moved in and arrested Suphachok Worramatamart, 37, after they received a tip-off that dead specimens of coral were being sold at the market.

Marine Police Region 8 Deputy Superintendent Lt Col Prasert Srikunrat led the raid, joined by Thanet Munnoy, chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket office.

“We found 13 bracelets made from dead corals and 27 other pieces of dead coral in the shop,” Col Prasert said.

“We asked the shop owner, Mr Suphachok, to show us his license for possessing the corals, but he could not present it to us,” he said.

Mr Suphachok was charged with illegal possession of a wildlife item protected under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act BE 2535 (1992).

“He faces a fine of up to 40,000 baht or up to four years in prison,” Col Prasert said.

Officers seized the 40 items of coral and took Mr Suphachok to Phuket City Police Station to process the charges against him and to continue their investigation.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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