Wildlife trade on the rise over pandemic

 | Tue 23 Feb 2021 16:29 ICT

A shop in Patan was raided on Sunday and found to have in storage, 18 pieces of ivory, 10 pairs of antlers and many other pieces of skin, horns and other body parts from endangered animals.

A total of 56 animal parts were confiscated, estimated to be valued in the millions of baht.

The owner of the business claimed not to be trading these items, but that they were merely decorative pieces for his shop. He said that he had bought second hand furniture wholesale and these wildlife parts had come with the sale.

However, authorities from The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation say that they had previously seen posts online promoting the sales of such items. Police then contacted the seller online and was told that they could purchase a pair of horns for 10,000 baht at this very shop.

The penalty for possessing the ivory is a fine of up to three million baht.

Police say that there has been a concerning increase in wildlife trading since the start of the pandemic, with many arrests being made of hunters found in the jungles of Mae Sariang. They believe that there is a network of traders and are working with the cyber crimes division of the Fifth Region.