Connect with us


Video Report: Police fail to bust gibbon touts despite video evidence



PHUKET: Officers have yet to arrest a gibbon tout caught on video earlier this week while working on the walking streets of Phi Phi Don.

The video, sent to the Phuket Gazette by a reader, clearly shows the culprit’s face and was forwarded to officials on Tuesday evening. As of today, no arrest has been made, confirmed Lt Col Danai Niyomdecha of the Phi Phi Island Police.

“The touts have disappeared for a while. We will go back to check when we receive tip-offs,” Lt Col Danai said.

Despite Lt Col Danai’s statement to the Gazette, tourists spotted the gibbon tout in the same area at about the same time, multiple nights in a row. Lt Col Danai did not clarify what he meant by his statement regarding the “disappearance” of the touts.

Recent success in arresting gibbon touts has been spearheaded by ‘Non Hunting Zone’ officers from national parks and Thung Talay.

“I really appreciate the video clip being sent to us. We mostly receive photos, but a video like this is much clearer,” said Boonname Chauyradom, assistant park chief of the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

Mr Boonname vowed to take officers on Wednesday night to the area where the tout was sighted. However, rough weather prevented them from accessing Phi Phi Don.

Chief of the Thung Talay Non Hunting Zone, Suwat Suksiri, told the Gazette that gibbon touts were starting to recognize his officers’ faces, allowing them to hide whenever an investigation team was sent to the island.

“I think local police and park officers need to step up their enforcement. At this point, we are wasting our time, as we are unable to find the gibbon touts when we get to the area,” said Mr Suwat.

Officials have also failed to make any arrests in connection with photographic evidence of two men with gibbons walking down Monkey Beach and offering to take pictures of tourists holding the apes. The pictures were handed over to officials earlier this month (story here).

One tout, arrested earlier this year, told officials that he could earn at least 5,000 baht per day during low season and up to 20,000 baht per day during the high season.

With the possibility of making more than 500,000 baht a month during the high season, the maximum punishment of not more than 4,000 baht, four years imprisonment, or both is hardly a deterrent, noted Mr Suwat.

Mr Suwat explained that according to their records, there are still at least five gibbons – a protected species in Thailand – being held in captivity and used by touts in Phi Phi. This number is much smaller than his previous estimate of about 20 gibbons on the island in August.

Gibbons are generally brought over to Phi Phi from Phuket. These baby gibbons, costing about 25,000 baht each, are sourced from the wild by poachers who take them from their mothers. The mother is killed in the process, Mr Suwat explained.

Complaints or tip-offs can be filed directly to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) – hotline at 1362.

— Kongleaphy Keam


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Press Room12 hours ago

Best island boat tours from Phuket – must-visit islands and unforgettable experiences you should not miss out on

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Foreigners anger Chiang Mai locals for kissing in temple

World14 hours ago

Former Coventry footballer seriously ill in Thai hospital

Crime14 hours ago

Weapons used by jealous Thai man to murder and chop up lover found

Guides14 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Should you try Keto diet? 2022

Chiang Mai14 hours ago

River in Chiang Mai overflows, floods spread

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

3-year jail term for carrying crops, fruit & veg into Japan

Thailand15 hours ago

Bank repossesses the wrong house in central Thailand

Thailand15 hours ago

Innocent man jailed 7 months for 15.8 million baht theft demands justice

Weather15 hours ago

Thailand’s cold season expected to hit in late October

Thailand16 hours ago

ฺThai boxer blackmails 20 women into sending nude pics

World16 hours ago

South Korea gives North Korea a warning

Visa17 hours ago

Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

Phuket17 hours ago

Thousands join Chinese ceremony at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Bang Sue’s Central Vaccination Centre officially closed

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11