Taiwanese man arrested with 160kg coral
published : 21 Jan 2020 at 10:43
writer: Achadtaya Chuenniran
PHUKET: A Taiwanese man has been arrested and charged with illegal possession of reef coral, which is protected, police said.
Tsou Sheng-mou, 52, was detained on Monday at his house in tambon Ko Kaew, in Muang district by police led by Pol Lt Col Tawan Lekmas, the local chief investigator, and members of the Phang-nga-based 6th marine and coastal resources office.
Found in his possession were 2 kilogrammes of live stony coral and 158kg of stony coral skeletons.
His arrest followed a tip off on Saturday that a man had been spotted collecting coral in the sea off Laem Phanwa beach in tambon Wichit. Somnuek Boonyai, a fisheries specialist, led officials to the spot and found Mr Tsou with three 20-litre buckets containing 2kg of live coral.
The Taiwanese admitted the coral belonged to him and claimed he was about to release them back into the sea. He was taken to the marine and coastal resources centre in Phuket for questioning.
Mr Tsou confessed to having more coral in hios possession, leading to a search of his home in tambon Ko Kaew on Monday where more coral was found - making 160kg in total.
He was initially charged with illegally having coral, a protected species, in his possession.