Investigators from Thailand Nature Crime Police inspect wildlife discovered in Bangkok (Credit: Thai Nature Crime Police).
Shocking news from Bangkok issued by the DSWF supported FREELAND Foundation as wildlife criminals caught with blood on their hands...
BANGKOK (February 6th 2011) Thai Police are in hot pursuit of a suspected wildlife trafficker after arresting seven others and discovering an underground slaughterhouse in Bangkok where tigers, elephants, and even zebras were being cut up and turned into exotic trophies. The ongoing law enforcement operation began Saturday, when metropolitan police encountered a man with hands covered in blood in Bangkok’s Yannawa District. Police escorted the man back to a residential building and discovered four others in the midst of chopping up a 400kg male tiger. Other animals, all dead, were found in the house, including zebras, an elephant, crocodiles, and a wild buffalo. Thai Nature Crime Police were then called in to assist local police on the case. They are now looking for the head of the operation, who appears to have fled Bangkok and possibly the country.
"This is another important arrest which has led us to a international criminal network,” said the Thai Nature Crime Police Commander, Police Colonel Norasak Hemnithi , “We vow to pursue the case to the fullest and punish all wrong-doers," he told FREELAND today.
“FREELAND congratulates Thai Police for uncovering and closing down this wildlife butcher’s den,” said its director, Steven Galster . “We suspect some of the animals were bred in, or laundered through, private zoos in Thailand,” he added.
The police believe the stuffed wildlife was destined for China.
Thai Nature Crime Police Investigators are now working with the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to identify the tiger owner and verify the origin of the animals. The two agencies are part of the Thai Wildlife Enforcement Network (Thai-WEN), which is linked to other task forces in the region through the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN). China has recently formed a similar task force and stated its intention to link up with ASEAN-WEN.
For more on DSWF's work with FREELAND in Thailand click here