PHETCHABURI: Six members of a wildlife trafficking gang were arrested and more than 10 macaques rescued near a hill in the Muang district on Friday morning.
Acting on a tip-off, the police arrived at the foothill of Khao Luang in tambon Thongchai and found a wildlife trafficking gang capturing long-tailed macaques in the area. The officers observed four men and two women using tranquiliser darts to capture the monkeys.
All six were apprehended, and more than 10 macaques were saved. The authorities also seized a Ford Ranger pickup truck, a Toyota Prius, a Toyota Wish, 80 tranquilizer darts, a bag of animal feeds and other items from the group.
The arrested individuals were identified as Pakorn Suparb, 32, Thawatchai Ngorseng, 20, Thanaphol Sribordindecha, 47, Ms Noppawan Kaewsri, 29, Arwut Kohsraket, 31, and Ms Phatthathidarat Kribngern, 35.
During questioning, the suspects confessed to travelling from Sa Kaeo province to capture macaques for a customer who would pay them 1,000 to 2,000 baht for each animal. They claimed that they did not know the buyer and that this was their first time.
The police charged the group with colluding to hunt wild animals without permission, illegal possession of wild animals and illegal trade of wildlife. They were handed over to tMuang police station in Phetchaburi for further legal action.
Police arrest six members of a wildlife trade gang and rescue more than 10 long-tailed macaques in Phetchaburi province on Friday. (Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem)