Sting nets tiger cub, smugglers

Sting nets tiger cub, smugglers

Three suspects have been arrested in Nonthaburi for wildlife trafficking.

Pol Maj Gen Mana Kleebsattabudh, commander of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NED) at the Central Investigation Bureau said his team has worked with the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) to investigate a Facebook account that has been posting various wildlife for sale online.

Officers from the NED then contacted an administrator of the Facebook account and pretended to be a customer who wanted to buy a tiger cub. The online vendor asked for an up-front payment of 200,000 baht, half of the total price, and another 200,000 baht when they met.

The meeting was arranged at a car park at Central Westgate shopping mall in Nonthaburi's Bang Yai district. Two suspects, Phirapol, 23, and Phornthiwa, 30 -- the police declined to give their surnames -- showed up to get the money. They led the "buyer" to meet Chatri, 41, who parked his car nearby so he could fetch the tiger cub.

Once the police team saw the cub, they arrested the three suspects and seized the four-month-old cub, as well as a Honda City that had been used to transport the animal and three mobile phones.

The three suspects later confessed that they smuggled the cub over from Laos. They are initially charged with illegally trafficking a protected wildlife species and will be sent to Bang Yai police station for further legal procedures.

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