Two members of a wildlife smuggling gang were arrested in Muang district of Chumphon on Saturday as they attempted to transport 48 macaques in a car from the South to the East.
The discovery was made after police and wildlife officials stopped a suspicious car for a search between kilometre markers 3 and 4 on Highway 4 in tambon Khun Krathing. Inside they found 48 macaques in mesh net bags. One of the animals was dead.
Two men — Natthaphon Phor-ong, 37, and Charnwat Tadaen, 39, both from Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo — were arrested, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).
During questioning, the pair admitted to having been hired to smuggle the macaques from the southern border province of Satun to Chachoengsao in the East for 25,000 baht a trip. They claimed they had done the job twice before being caught.
They were charged with illegal possession of protected wild animals and held in police custody for legal action. The rescued animals were sent to a wildlife breeding station in Phangnga province to be cared for.
Two smuggling suspects point at macaques inside their car after their arrest in Chumphon. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)