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Pattaya Daily News

02 September 2010 :: 14:09:28 pm 37372

Lucrative ‘Monkey Meat’ Operation Revealed in Drug Raid

A standard narcotics investigation in the central Thai province of Ratchaburi Wednesday has uncovered an endangered and protected species smuggling operation between Laos and Thailand. The drug using offenders had contained numerous crab-eating macaques, which had been cruelly beaten and restrained live in plastic bags.
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Ratchaburi, the 1st of September 2010: Initially investigating a drug using gang of teenagers, officers from the Baan Pong Police Station and Narcotics Control Board, raided a premises in the area, arresting multiple youths on numerous drug usage and possession charges.

However, during police investigations, officers noticed a strange collection of ‘moving’ plastic bags contained inside a large cage at the rear of the premises. Having detained the offenders, police discovered that the plastic bags contained live crab-eating macaques that had been cruelly beaten, restrained and showed signs of starvation. In total, 15 primates were found inside the enclosure.

Under interrogation, Mr. Thanakorn Paenphol [29], the house owner, confessed to having used drugs regularly at his house with friends, but claimed that the abused macaques belonged to another man, Mr. Anucha Selaluk, his brother-in-law.

Allegedly, Mr. Selaluk is involved with a lucrative trade of ‘monkey meat’ between Thailand and Laos. He reportedly hired youths to catch the native crab-eating macaques before transporting them to the border province of Nong Khai were they would be sold in Laos for over Bt1,500 each. ‘Monkey meat’ is considered somewhat of a delicacy in Laos along with other endangered or protected species such as anteater.

The youths, some of which were arrested on drug charges, are reportedly paid up to Bt800 per captured monkey, collecting approximately 30 before they are transported for sale to buyers at the Thai-Laos border.

Officers have now remanded all the offenders in custody pending further investigations into the illegal operation and the apprehension of Mr. Selaluk. The captive animals have now been handed over to Animal & Forestry officials who will re-release them into the wild once nursed back to health.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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