PHUKET: One suspect was arrested while four others escaped after police charged them with harming marine life and using fishing equipment in a national park area. The incident unfolded at Mu Koh Lanta National Park.
“Last week, we received reports from divers that there was a yacht anchored at Koh Ha and that the people on board were suspected of shooting fish,” said Kankasem Meesook, chief of the park.
“At Koh Ha, we found a yacht named Is A Kind Of Magic at anchor there. Nearby, we found two men diving, shooting fish with spears and taking photographs. We also found two other men and a child on the boat,” he added.
Officers seized all the equipment, including spears, a GoPro camera, diving equipment and accessories, two buoyancy control devices (BCD), a radio communication device and about 10 kilograms of fish.
“We charged them and ordered them to move the boat ashore to the Klong Sai Conservation Office for further legal processing. We took one of the men with us on our boat and asked the rest to follow us,” said Kankasem.
“Initially, the others followed us on their yacht, but then they suddenly maneuvered away and escaped. We chased them, but they were able to get away,” he added.
Waritnan Pronanon, 45, the only suspect in police custody, has refused to provide any further information so far.
“We already know the names of the others and that they have escaped to Phuket, so we have asked the Phuket Marine Office to help us find them,” said Kankasem.
Police refused to name the nationalities of the suspects.